11th Mar 2012, 16:43
I'm a regular traveler out of South Asia into the ME and Africa and making use of a range of airlines coming out of the Gulf. i've had mixed experiences with all, bordering on extreme with Saudi and a case of entrapment in Jeddah Airport...
my question for you folks: how would you assess the safety of these airlines? are the supposed power/promotion issues that may have led that led to the Gulf Airlines crash from CAI to Bahrain being repeated elsewhere? is safety being overlooked with expansion? am i looking too much into this issue?
12th Mar 2012, 18:21
how would you assess the safety of these airlines?
They fly pretty new planes, operate to internationally accepted safety standards.
13th Mar 2012, 13:01
My tuppence worth .... airlines based in Gulf States have a good safety record as far as I know (and I've lived in the region for years...as SLF). Some from nearby countries less so. I'm thinking of Iran Air, & Yemenia as examples.
Some airports are not so hot though. Abu Dhabi recently may have had issues with runway lighting (thread in PPRuNe). Kuwait has had a fire a few years ago that spread much further than it should have done through the Terminal Building - and no standby generator in service for emergency lighting, etc...
Your safety when travelling is drop-off to airport pickup - not just in the air.
13th Mar 2012, 13:36
Flew LHR-RUH-CGK and KUL-JED-LHR with them the other week and it was an experience to say the least :suspect:
About 30 seconds from touchdown, woman gets up and goes to the toilet to change her babies nappy without a word from the cabin crew
Flight deck and cabin crew smoking in the rear galley of their shiny new 773
Seatbelt sign remained on for about 70% of one of the flights, not that it meant much to passengers or cabin crew. Did the pilots forget to turn it off after T/C?
And more things I've probably forgotten, it just seemed 'normal' in the end after 4 flights with them.
Both Riyadh and Jeddah airport were terrible with little to no facilities. Jeddah didn't even have a currency exchange or ATM machine for us to draw money out and buy ourselves a bottle of water. We ended up 'paying' (or bribing, no idea if the money went to Saudi or into the blokes back pocket) in USD for lounge access.
Agree ME based airlines have a good safety record. However reading some of the Pilots' threads on PPRuNe has made me feel that at some airlines this has as much to do with luck as with safety oversight. (i.e. incidents at Melbourne and Johannesburg)
I've also heard that one reason why EK is expanding in the US as quickly as they are is that they are very scared that the UAE would not pass a US FAA safety audit. (Downgrading would result in a freeze of both routes and frequency). Apparently this is due to the lack of oversight of some secondary airports (NOT Dubai or Abu Dhabi). However if oversight is poor at airports like Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah does this mean that the bigger airports can be any better?
I've flown EK once in the past decade and they appeared to be a professional organisation. It did strike me that their CC was more concerned with service than safety. (i.e. they did not object to a passenger's carry-on being left on the empty seat beside him, seat belts not checked, etc. (particularly with passengers in 'national dress'.) Nothing significant, but it did make me feel a little uneasy.