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How Safe Are Airlines In Southeast Asia?

Indonesian students pray for victims of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Tangerang on December 30, 2014.  (Bima Sakti/AFP/Getty Images)
Indonesian students pray for victims of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Tangerang on December 30, 2014. (Bima Sakti/AFP/Getty Images)

A greater number of people in Southeast Asia are now able to afford airline travel, and a growing number of low-cost airlines are buying up new planes to service the flying public.

That puts some strain on pilot training, infrastructure and regulatory systems. But does it mean that flying Southeast Asian airlines is unsafe?

Chris Yates, an independent aviation consultant, tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins he’d fly AirAsia, the Malaysia-based airline carrier that operated the plane which apparently crashed in bad weather this past weekend.

“It’s growing at a natural pace given the demands that there is for civil aviation in that part of the world at the moment,” he said. “There have been debates about the regulatory process, making sure that each and every carrier meets with the internationally accepted standards in terms of maintenance.”

Yates says once the evidence comes back from the AirAsia flight’s black box, this crash will not be remarkable.

“It will show that this was simply a weather related incident,” he said. “I would have no compunction about traveling with Indonesian flights.”

Guest

  • Chris Yates, independent aviation consultant and principal of Yates Consulting.

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