A Year-End Air Tragedy

Weather Playing Havoc During Christmas Season of Joy Not Uncommon

A day after Christmas in 2004 Asia plunged into gloom with the loss of more than 200k lives across multiple countries in the region hit by the world’s deadliest tsunami.

Since then the world has been nervously ushering in the Christmas season as weather conditions are generally bad during the period. The last few days Malaysia and Indonesia had been hit by major floods displacing thousands of people from some areas.

Going by media reports, the weather remained turbulent today as well. So, I am shocked that the Air Asia flight (QZ 8501) that went missing earlier today was allowed to take off from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

Turbulent weather is something we always encounter on flights at any time of the year, so it can be too common to warrant a cancellation. But when the weather has been particularly bad the last few days it is a painful thought that Air Asia went ahead with what will have been a two-hour flight.

It is quite another matter that if the flight was delayed or cancelled it could have left its passengers unhappy.

Blame Game Unnecessary: It does not look like the pilots lacked the experience to deal with such situations. So there is no need to rush into a blame game here.

I travelled by Air Asia once a few years ago with family on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. It was a pleasant experience – a new aircraft with good service standards though it was only a one-hour journey. That took the fear of budget air travels away from me, making me try Tiger Airways, Spice and Indigo on a few personal trips.

In fact, Air Asia has been winning the best budget airline award the last few years.

Nonetheless, this incident is bound to put the spotlight on budget travels and crew experience.

My thoughts and prayers are with the 162 people who were on board Air Asia QZ 8501 and their families. May a miracle bring them back!

G Joslin Vethakumar


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One response to “A Year-End Air Tragedy

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 30 Dec 2014 | The Singapore Daily

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