MekongBritish
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Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:27 am

Hi all, I'm an aviation enthusiast from England stationed in Cambodia for business; I follow the industry a lot, including the forums, safety news and the famous tv series, and have become quite conscious/nervous/(paranoid?) about flying (I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).

Because of work I will need to travel to Vietnam and Malaysia (and other Southeast Asian countries) frequently and all the obvious options have quite negative ratings or history compared to my EU favourites, or are too new to have any data:
Malaysian Airlines
AirAsia
Malindo Air
VietJet
I also read that some airlines don't have the IOSA.

Objectively speaking, how would you compare the airlines in terms of safety? What are my best options? Is it worth transiting with a more reputed airline like CX or BR?
 
FriscoHeavy
Posts: 1165
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:56 am

All of them are equally safe. Buy a ticket and go have fun.
Whatever
 
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TheFlyingDisk
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:05 am

MekongBritish wrote:
Hi all, I'm an aviation enthusiast from England stationed in Cambodia for business; I follow the industry a lot, including the forums, safety news and the famous tv series, and have become quite conscious/nervous/(paranoid?) about flying (I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).

Because of work I will need to travel to Vietnam and Malaysia (and other Southeast Asian countries) frequently and all the obvious options have quite negative ratings or history compared to my EU favourites, or are too new to have any data:
Malaysian Airlines
AirAsia
Malindo Air
VietJet
I also read that some airlines don't have the IOSA.

Objectively speaking, how would you compare the airlines in terms of safety? What are my best options? Is it worth transiting with a more reputed airline like CX or BR?


Despite MH370/MH17 & QZ8501, both AirAsia & Malaysia Airlines are safe, just as safe as CX or BR. Same for Malindo Air. Malaysia Airlines' record is skewed simply because the double disasters of 2014, both of which are not really the fault of the airline.

You can see the list of IOSA-certified airlines here - Malindo & Malaysia Airlines have their certifications while for AirAsia, their long-range subsidiary AirAsia X holds the certification.

http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/safety/aud ... istry.aspx
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
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mariner
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:10 am

MekongBritish wrote:
Hi all, I'm an aviation enthusiast from England stationed in Cambodia for business; I follow the industry a lot, including the forums, safety news and the famous tv series, and have become quite conscious/nervous/(paranoid?) about flying (I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).............Objectively speaking, how would you compare the airlines in terms of safety? What are my best options? Is it worth transiting with a more reputed airline like CX or BR?


If you won't fly Ryanair or Easyjet when they have impeccable safety records, I don't know who to suggest in Asia. Singapore, maybe?

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/06/25-air ... -accident/

"When you hear “low-cost carrier,” you might wonder if part of the savings might come from skimping on maintenance. As is the case with the US ultra-low cost carriers mentioned above, you might be pleased to learn both Ryanair and EasyJet haven’t had a fatality."

I've flown in Asia a lot and have never had a moment's hesitation.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
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SJL
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:21 am

I’ve flown Batik (part of Malindo Group), VietJet, Cambodia Angkor Air, Air Asia and Air Asia X in the last 6 months. They were all operating new aircraft with competent crews and I’d have no concerns repeating the experience. For sure, service on SQ or CX might have been better but not safety.

There may be a public perception that the established legacy carriers are safest and the cheap and cheerful carriers don’t have the same operating and maintenance procedures but that’s not the reality of actually running an airline. LCC’s save money typically by operating new aircraft that require less maintenance and are easier to operate, not offering FFP’s, IFE and onboard amenities, airport lounges and services ect.

I’d suggest you are wayyy more likely to be injured crossing the street in Cambodia and Vietnam than on any aircraft over there.
 
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cvgComair
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:24 am

All those carriers are completely safe. Perhaps choose Singapore/Malaysia/Thai if you want a better service airline, but there is nothing wrong with those LCC's safety-wise.
Next: CPH-CDG (Air France A318), CDG-BOS (Air France A330-200), BOS-CVG (Delta Air Lines CRJ-900)
A319/320/332/333, B712/722/732/733/738/739/752/753/763/764/772/773/788, CRJ-100/2/7/9, ERJ-145/75, MD-88/90, S340
 
twa727
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:15 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:35 am

If they're going where you're going, Bangkok Airways (PG) is worth a look too. They are a small airline with a limited route network. However, rather than sell themselves as discount / no-frills airline, they've positioned themselves to be a boutique airline with better service some specialized routes throughout that part of southeast Asia.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:42 am

Malaysia Airlines and Vietnam Airlines are reputable and safe carriers.
 
Galwayman
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:51 am

MekongBritish wrote:
Hi all, I'm an aviation enthusiast from England stationed in Cambodia for business; I follow the industry a lot, including the forums, safety news and the famous tv series, and have become quite conscious/nervous/(paranoid?) about flying (I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).

Because of work I will need to travel to Vietnam and Malaysia (and other Southeast Asian countries) frequently and all the obvious options have quite negative ratings or history compared to my EU favourites, or are too new to have any data:
Malaysian Airlines
AirAsia
Malindo Air
VietJet
I also read that some airlines don't have the IOSA.

Objectively speaking, how would you compare the airlines in terms of safety? What are my best options? Is it worth transiting with a more reputed airline like CX or BR?



Both Ryanair and EasyJet have much better safety records than BA so you might as well just choose the airlines with the most expensive flights so that you ‘feel’safer
 
Galwayman
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:54 am

You might enjoy Bangkok Airways , ridiculously high airfares on monopoly routes with expensive Branding . Nearly always half empty . Aimed at the international tourist as a ‘boutique’ (pretentious) . And same same safety record
 
caverunner17
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:13 am

I have had awesome flights on Air Asia, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet. Even got upgraded on Vietnam Airlines for some reason.
 
travelhound
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:13 pm

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:15 am

When Vietnam first opened up to the west (1994) I travelled through the country. I was looking forward to travelling on their old Russian Jets. Unfortunately, they retired the Russian Jets on mass and replaced them with Boeing jets at the first opportunity. Such is life.

They still have plenty of old boats and trains. That would be my choice.
 
travelhound
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:17 am

A common term for an expat in this region is "long leg, no hair". I hope you enjoy your time in Cambodia.
 
Benni228
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:45 am

I’m booked on Cambodia Angkor Air in a couple of weeks, I know virtually nothing about the carrier other than that it is partly owned by Vietnam Airlines and I believe them to be as good as any other national carrier so I don’t have any worries. It also looks like they are trying to get their safety certifications which is always a good sign - implies that safety is high on their agenda
 
oldannyboy
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am

Safety standards are very good in the region. Most airlines fly very new and reliable aircraft, and can rely on pilots with good training standards. I have travelled through Asia extensively, and have flown multiple times on all the airlines you mention, plus many other more. Never had a moment of hesitation. Asia is actually the continent I enjoy flying in/through the most: professional polite, kind, friendly caring crews, and excellent service, coupled with spotless new airplanes and very often delicious food even on domestic flights.
Driving or being a passenger on a car/van is A LOT more dangerous, especially on some of Asia's poorer roads.

If you really are that anxious about flying, then may I perhaps suggest some "brief strategic psychotherapy". It's extremely effective. You may want to give it a try.
 
Planeplain
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:07 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:31 am

I lived in Cambodia for two years and travelled a lot in the region, including domestic flights in Cambodia.

For domestic flights to Siem Reap I'd usually fly Bassaka Air and occasionally Cambodia Ankgor. Bassaka is owned by a casino in PP. A friend works for them and has never raised any safety concerns. Flights were always on time. JC Airlines is Chinese owned and only been around a year or so. They are expanding rapidly with flights to China, with very new planes. The flight is about 30 mins to SR.

Avoid Bayon Air unless you want to fly old Chinese turbo props. I'd say not.

To Bangkok take your pick of AirAsia, Bangkok Airways and Thai. All perfectly safe airlines. AirAsia is a LCC but for a 1hr flight it's perfectly fine. The service on Bangkok and Thai is slightly better but the planes are usually older.

Likewise with Malaysia and AirAsia for flights to KL and Jetstar and Singapore Airlines to Singapore, though these flights are a bit longer. No issues with safety here.

To Ho Chi Minh City, just catch a bus. Or Qatar (onto Doha) and Vietnam Airlines. Flights are overpriced for the journey time and don't really save you that much time with the inevitable traffic jam heading to and from both airports.

Laos I believe can be reached with Vietnam Airlines who routes a flight to Vientiane through PHN.

Heading north there are various Chinese airlines plus China Airlines, EVA, Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific with myriad transit options available throughout the world. ANA has a direct flight to Narita which is well timed.

Emirates has a flights to Yangon and then onto Dubai.

All in all Cambodia is increasingly well connected. Enjoy your time there and take advantage of this and don't let your fears impact your willingness to fly on perfectly safe airlines.

Otherwise, head down to Kampot and Kep for weekends. Two very special places. But I'd take a flight anyway over Cambodian roads.

Plain.
 
c933103
Posts: 2346
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 pm

hummm maybe avoid 320neo with GTF?
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Planeplain wrote:
I lived in Cambodia for two years and travelled a lot in the region, including domestic flights in Cambodia.

For domestic flights to Siem Reap I'd usually fly Bassaka Air and occasionally Cambodia Ankgor. Bassaka is owned by a casino in PP. A friend works for them and has never raised any safety concerns. Flights were always on time. JC Airlines is Chinese owned and only been around a year or so. They are expanding rapidly with flights to China, with very new planes. The flight is about 30 mins to SR.

Avoid Bayon Air unless you want to fly old Chinese turbo props. I'd say not.

To Bangkok take your pick of AirAsia, Bangkok Airways and Thai. All perfectly safe airlines. AirAsia is a LCC but for a 1hr flight it's perfectly fine. The service on Bangkok and Thai is slightly better but the planes are usually older.

Likewise with Malaysia and AirAsia for flights to KL and Jetstar and Singapore Airlines to Singapore, though these flights are a bit longer. No issues with safety here.

To Ho Chi Minh City, just catch a bus. Or Qatar (onto Doha) and Vietnam Airlines. Flights are overpriced for the journey time and don't really save you that much time with the inevitable traffic jam heading to and from both airports.

Laos I believe can be reached with Vietnam Airlines who routes a flight to Vientiane through PHN.

Heading north there are various Chinese airlines plus China Airlines, EVA, Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific with myriad transit options available throughout the world. ANA has a direct flight to Narita which is well timed.

Emirates has a flights to Yangon and then onto Dubai.

All in all Cambodia is increasingly well connected. Enjoy your time there and take advantage of this and don't let your fears impact your willingness to fly on perfectly safe airlines.

Otherwise, head down to Kampot and Kep for weekends. Two very special places. But I'd take a flight anyway over Cambodian roads.

Plain.


Incredibly insightful!

That said, I have to ask - what are the facilities like, at (if at all) secondary airport in the region/nation?

The reason I ask - is because, I believe that we have hammered down the fact that the issues regarding safety are essentially nullified in the sectors of aircraft operated (as most are operating modern aircraft, and you noted the example of the one that did not), the culture of safety (which we have noted was not really an issue) and thus lead to the issue that infrastructure might indeed be the issue.

So, how are the secondary airports in the nation/region? The popular, well known tourist havens are likely to, by demand - have better developed roads/airports/facilites et al, that said - would certain areas/airports/times make specific routes/airport - less safe?

A practical example, I can offer - is, take at look at this fantastic trip review;
http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1388045

Granted, I am not saying that the airport is unsafe, but until conditions warrant greater improvement - I can see state expenditures being devoted to justifiably better issues. How does Cambodia, and by extension - the nations that you have visited, handle their 'secondary' airports? I can see that as GDPs rise, and the costs to travel fall further - that there will be stresses to many of those secondary airports, as tourists grow to appreciate some of the most breathtaking sights, sounds, and foods to be had, in the World!
 
PayaLebar
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:03 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Despite MH370/MH17 & QZ8501, both AirAsia & Malaysia Airlines are safe, just as safe as CX or BR. Same for Malindo Air. Malaysia Airlines' record is skewed simply because the double disasters of 2014, both of which are not really the fault of the airline.

You can see the list of IOSA-certified airlines here - Malindo & Malaysia Airlines have their certifications while for AirAsia, their long-range subsidiary AirAsia X holds the certification.

http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/safety/aud ... istry.aspx


Ditto.
 
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afterburner
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:34 pm

SJL wrote:
I’ve flown Batik (part of Malindo Group)

There was a plan to rename Malindo to Batik Air Malaysia. The original Batik Air is an Indonesian airline. Lion Air, Batik Air, Wings Air, Malindo Air, and Thai Lion Air are parts of Lion Air Group.
 
jumpjets
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:55 pm

I flew Vietnam Airlines domestically on both the ATR72 and Airbus A321 and both flights were perfectly fine.

Also flew Cambodia Air Angkor again an ATR72 Siem Reap to Sihanoukville and that flight was equally fine. The only thing with them was that they tried to bump us onto a flight to Phnom Penh [when our desitnation was actually Sihanoukville] as an A320 [I think] was substituted with the ATR so they were very short on seats. A 'policy' of not moving from the check in desk until it was sorted seemed to pay off and the situation was resolved satisfactorily.
 
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spinotter
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:00 pm

travelhound wrote:
A common term for an expat in this region is "long leg, no hair". I hope you enjoy your time in Cambodia.


What can that possibly mean? East Asians have much less hair, except on the head, than almost all men or women of European or African provenance.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:48 pm

MekongBritish wrote:
(I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).


You really did yourself short there because EasyJet and Ryanair both got a perfect safety record. They're just as safe as British Airways. The only difference is the service level, although that's declining on British Airways too lately. You've just been paying far too much to feel more safe, not to actually be more safe.

Same thing is true in Asia. Any airline will do as they all got a good safety record. A higher price just means it's more comfortable, not that it's more safe.
 
flydude380
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:04 pm

Seriously?
 
IPFreely
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:38 pm

MekongBritish wrote:
Hi all, I'm an aviation enthusiast from England stationed in Cambodia for business; I follow the industry a lot, including the forums, safety news and the famous tv series, and have become quite conscious/nervous/(paranoid?) about flying (I'd always choose a BA than a EZ or FR, which may have reduced some of my university holiday options at some point).


If you don't think Ryanair or Easyjet are safe then you must think certifications and proven performance mean nothing. Which means you probably won't think any of the airlines of southeast Asia are safe, either.
 
EricAY05
Posts: 199
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:43 pm

When booking AirAsia, I always pick the "original" one from Malaysia and avoid the others, especially Indonesia AirAsia.
 
teachpdx
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:51 am

Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:04 am

I flew 9 flights with Thai AirAsia (FD) and one with the original AirAsia (AK) last year. All ten flights were stellar, using the Asean Pass. I also flew one on Jetstar Pacific (BL) HKG-HAN and it was adequate.
Be ready to pay an arm and a leg for checked baggage ($5/kilo) if flying international on Cambodia Angkor Air and not in their highest booking class.
 
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LostLuggage
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:01 am

I travelled to Cambodia over Chinese New Year and got to try Vietjet Air, Bassaka Air and Lanmei Airlines in the process.

VJ are expanding impressively fast across SE Asia and have been taking delivery of new A321s at a mad rate. So the planes are fine, but local standards of customer service are a given when the brown stuff hits the fan. Don’t expect any explanations, information and definitely no compensation even after lengthy delays.

I’d read that some of the new airlines cropping up in Cambodia have a habit of employing pilots who are yet to have logged the number of hours necessary to fly for most established carriers, and instead use their time flying there to count towards proper licensing. That said, I can’t provide any evidence of that and both my flights on Basska and Lanmei Airlines were enjoyable. The latter was even on a former Monarch bird I’d flown to Spain on for a family holiday over 10 years ago!
 
flymia
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:08 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Malaysia Airlines and Vietnam Airlines are reputable and safe carriers.


These are the two I would go with. For Malaysia Airlines they had two crashes which one was completely out of their control. Its very likely the second one was as well.

I am not aware of any incidents on Vietnam.

I agree with your hesitation though. Its mainly a flight crew issue IMO. Overall its safe to fly pretty much any decent carrier in the world. But there are certainly large gaps of training, oversight and experience for say a flight crew on Air Asia or a flight crew on JAL or Cathay.

I read about a recent commercial pilot in SE Asia who got his license, 250hours and was accepted to fly on an ATR-72 as a FO. I understand that there are 250 hour pilots all over the world, including Europe flying large airplanes like an ATR or A320. The thing is this man explained that his flight school was so limited that they did not allow the students to fly in the rain, IMC, or any weather other than a nice sunny day. And now he is going to fly an ATR for an airline in Southeast Asia?
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Safe airlines around Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia?

Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:49 am

EricAY05 wrote:
When booking AirAsia, I always pick the "original" one from Malaysia and avoid the others, especially Indonesia AirAsia.


There's really no difference in them except that they're based at another airport in another country and are on a different AOC. However the planes are exactly the same and the crew work in exactly the same way. There's really no reason to avoid those "others" as you call them.

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