AS a group, AirAsia has had 32 incidents with one registering fatalities since its inception in 1996, but Australia-based ratings agency airlineratings.com still says it’s a safe airline.
Of the 32 incidents recorded by The Aviation Herald, AirAsia had the highest number at 13, while AirAsia X had eight, AirAsia Zest (four), Thai AirAsia (three) and Indonesia AirAsia (two). Philippines AirAsia and AirAsia India had one each.
AirAsia was in the news again recently when an AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur-bound flight D7237 was forced to return to Perth 90 minutes into its flight due to engine trouble.
AirAsia has declined to comment on the latest incident or previous ones but its business is still good with the latest quarter showing net profit of RM615.81 million despite being 30% lower than the previous corresponding quarter due to higher expenses.
Revenue, however, grew 31% to RM2.2 billion compared with RM1.7 billion in the same period last year, driven by stronger load factors.
Meanwhile in its latest listing, airlineratings.com gave AirAsia X 6/7 stars while the budget airlines was rated 29 in Germany-based Jacdec’s list of top 60 airlines.
In contrast, Malaysia Airlines ranked 56 on Jacdec and has only 5/7 stars on airlineratings.com.
Jacdec, which started in 1989, provides global safety analysis about commercial aviation. It gathers safety information about the 60 largest airlines measured by their revenue passenger performance.
Airlineratings.com awards stars based on whether the airline is IOSA certified (two stars), blacklisted by the European Union (one), fatality record for the past 10 years (one), FAA endorsed (one) and if the country of origin is ICAO certified (two).
Stars are taken off if the airline operates Russian-built only aircraft or has been grounded by the country’s governing aviation safety authority.
IOSA is International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit while ICAO refers to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Since starting in November 1996, the AirAsia group only registered one incident that involved fatalities when Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8502 crashed into the Java Sea on Dec 28, 2014.
QZ8502, which was flying to Singapore from Surabaya, crashed during bad weather, killing all 155 crew and seven crew members.