Aljazeera 101 East: “How Safe are Asia’s Airlines?”

When I was watching Aljazeera last week they were running promo for 101 East documentary about the safety of airlines in Asia.


I just watched the documentary that is available on YouTube and it turned out to be mainly about the Indonesia AirAsia and the incident couple of years back where the flight from Surabaya destined to Singapore ended up crashing in the Java sea.

You can access the documentary on YouTube here.

Here’s the program page on Aljazeera’s website:

A fierce battle is raging in the skies of Southeast Asia.

As the region’s swelling middle classes take to air travel, airlines are waging a cut-throat war.

But in the quest for passengers, is safety being sacrificed?

A series of fatal crashes has left families demanding that someone be held accountable for the deaths of their loved ones.

From poor safety standards to inferior pilot training, this investigation reveals shocking bungles within Asian budget carriers and Indonesia’s airline regulator.

In exclusive interviews with airline insiders, 101 East reveals an industry plagued by systematic failures and blunders that are costing lives.


The title of this documentary is a bit misleading. It really is about the Indonesia AirAsia and other budget airlines in the country such as the Lion Air. Garuda Indonesia is the only Indonesian airline that is not on the EU’s black list and is still prohibited to fly to the US.

I have flown on Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air and on Garuda Indonesia in the past year or so. The fares on discount carriers tend to be really low for flights within Indonesia and difficult to see how they could turn any profit on $50 fares between Jakarta and Bali that I have been paying.

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