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Flying To Dangerous Places!  
User currently offlineJeffrySkY From Singapore, joined Feb 2004, 178 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3903 times:

Hey I was looking through some of the route networks of some major European carriers like Air France and SN Brussels. I am sure many know that they offer a high extensive network covering almost the whole of Africa, especially Air France.

i am sorry if i tread on anyone's toes , but i do know that some of these cities are totally un-touristy and some have terribly unstable civil/political situations. There's this really frightening case of guerillas firing at a Sabena A330 on final approach into Brazzaville.

I do know that past colonial ties have necessitated the maintanance of good connectivities plus the fact that Africa has an abundance of job opportunities with its rich , relatively untapped natural resources. But how do the airlines operate to such underdeveloped regions amidst such an unstable political situation ?? As in the logistics .. getting fuel , protection of the cabin crew during their layovers ,

Any crew member willing to share their experiences on an interesting layover in a super-exotic locale like Sierra Leone or Kinsasha ? I really am very curious about the countries in the heart of Africa ( coz' i have only been to SA and egypt ), so i apologise if my curiosity/ignorance may seem offending to any African nationals.

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4277 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

Many crew members refuse to stay in high risk areas. Some airlines actually fly their crew outside of the high risk countries for overnights, and others have them fly back as passengers onboard the aircraft.

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offlineAviationfreak From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1166 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

A little bit off topic. But I think some countries consider the Netherlands as a dangerous country. In ARN they asked me where I was traveling from. When I answered AMS they decided to turn up side down my luggage. That was before the 11 sept disaster. I guess they think every Dutch boy from AMS carries drugs with him. Happened again at MRS. I guess it was just a unhappy coincidence.

Sorry about the complaining but I just wonder if every flight to or from AMS is suspicious.

[Edited 2004-02-10 23:34:44]


I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
User currently offlineAlekToronto From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3605 times:

I can second that opinion.
It isn't that the NETHERLANDS is a "dangerous" country just that there are certain destinations that for better or worse have a reputation for drugs.
In all my travels I have never had my luggage checked upon arrival except when I was arriving from either AMS, Jamaica or Colombia (in those cases I was ALWAYS searched). Young "looking" passengers under 40 are especially suspect for this.
My pal at Canada Customs said something to the effect that since AMS originating flights are known "drug" flights...something like 50 percent of people are carrying drugs with them! Don't know where they got the numbers but they are sticking by them. Late night arrivals from Jamaica are especially rough for young people!

AS FOR FLYING TO DANGEROUS PLACES.
Hopefully European Airlines would not want to place their crews/passengers in danger so if there was a great danger they would stop flying there..i.e. BA to Uganda in the 80's/90's, Sabena to Rwanda, etc..
My F/A friend at AF says she absolutely hates the Africa flights and most AF Cabin Crew only flies them if they have to..she especially dispises Lagos, Johannesburg and Luanda, she tells me she feels unsafe in those cities.

cheers
Alek


User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

All the places where AF crews are staying in Africa are very safe. All AF crew members stay 1 night in Africa, in nice hotels (Le Meridien, Sheraton, Intercontinental...) EXCEPT Lagos in Nigeria, they take a private plane to Cotonou in Benin where they spend the night. (AF flies daily CDG-LOS with an A332).

Cities like Dakar (Senegal), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) or Libreville (Gabon) are safer than Johannesburg or Lagos (Nigeria..).

Now in Africa, dangerous places are Liberia, Nigeria, Burundi, some part of Democratic Republic of Congo (except Kinshasa), Sudan.

ATC is OK, the weak point is still Nigeria (bad English accent and poor information).
Airports are OK, my favorite one is Abidjan Airport in Ivory Coast.


User currently offlineMyk From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

Jo'burg or Luanda is not "unsafer" than some US cities. I know some F/A from AF flying to Africa without problems and feeling as safe as in other parts og the world.

I think its important to get not off the topic. Airlines are not often flying to dangerous cities and in case of imminent danger or major problems like hijacking (Af Airbus ALG-ORY 1994) they cancel and stop the route.
Today flights to Brazzaville are safe. Last year, when unrest happened in Abidjan, AF stopped immediatly all flights.

So to be true, I dont know today an major european airline flying to a dangerous location. (BTW, what is your definition of dangerous location ? Baghdad is real unsafe, Honiara is unsafe, and I dont think that airlines are willing to send their planes, money and loose cash in those places)


User currently offlineHALFA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1354 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3483 times:

Myk,
I would love to hear what cities in the US you feel are "unsafer" then J'burg and Luanda. Having been to most large US cities and having been to both J'burg and Luanda, I can safely say, no pun intended, that J'burg is certainly more dangerous than any US city. It was down right frightening! I wouldn't venture back there if you paid me.
As for other cities that I was uncomfortable in on layovers, I would have to rank Riyadh, and Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia right up there.



Don't mess with Texas....We just may do that!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Myk, in fact I believe some cargo and charter airlines are willing to fly to Baghdad.
Afghanistan is not very safe too, yet Ariana Afghan is operating without troubles. Probably it couldn't be compared because Ariana is home airline for Afghanistan and thus they have nowhere to retreat...

What is also interesting, what would be done in case of emergency of such an unsafe country (I mean, really unsafe one where there is, for example, anarchy or civil war at a time). Would the crew land plane there or fly to the nearest "safe" airport instead?

Hohanesburgh, by the way, is worlds unsafest city by the criminal record as I've read in some study published in a newspaper. It seems government of SA even banned releasing crime statistics. After end of apartheid, crime skyrocketed as blacks moved to cities. Rapes, murders are especially a problem and it seems many racists there targets white people. However, for racial purposes white farmers living in countryside are mostly targeted, while tourists (and thus crew members) could be targeted mostly by pickepockets as it seems (I am writing here what South Africans told me and also independent info gathered on the net).


User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14010 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

LTU is flying to Kabul once a week from DUS.
I had a friend who was a mechanic for the (now deceased) Irish Transaer. He was based in Algiers for 6 months during the troubles with the religious fanatics in the late 90´s. He stayed in a guarded hotel compound, leaving it only to go to the airport for work, guarded by some body guards armed with AK-47s. He hated it!

Jan


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8093 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3338 times:

So Lagos is so unsafe that Air France have to fly their crews by private plane to another country for the nightstop?! Holy shit.

I first flew to Beirut in 1995, four years after the war ended but when most of the city was still in ruins. Tourism was almost unheard of and I was quite nervous at Heathrow on the way out. When we landed it was very late at night and I could see the shadows of soldiers (and their big guns) in the darkness around the plane. (Luckily the city turned out to be great and I've been lucky to spend a lot of time there since.)

We need some proper MEA experts to tell us about flying MEA in and out of Beirut when it was at war.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineSolarix From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3279 times:

On the subject of "un-safe' destinations, what ever happened to that proposed airline that would fly from the United States to Kabul via Geneva? I believe it was some American-Swiss partnership type deal. Anyone know what happened and if it will ever become a reality?

User currently offlineTriJetFan1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3240 times:
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Isn't Casablanca pretty unstable? I looked on the search engine and saw basically zero aircraft there, but maybe there is not any spotters there.


Earned PPL June 26, 2007
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3179 times:

To get away from Africa for a moment, I've heard that AA crews on flights serving PAP do not overnight in the city and are restricted to the airport at all times. Can anyone confirm?


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineJuanr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

AlekToronto wrote:

In all my travels I have never had my luggage checked upon arrival except when I was arriving from either AMS, Jamaica or Colombia (in those cases I was ALWAYS searched). Young "looking" passengers under 40 are especially suspect for this.

------------

Well, bad luck for you, as a Colombian citizen I had travel to U.S. more than five times and I have never had my baggage checked upon arrival from BOG at JFK (arrived on Avianca at 11:00pm), ATL(arrived on Delta about 2:15pm) or SJU (arrived on Lufthansa and Aces about 7:00pm and 12:00m)

Juan
SKBO


User currently offlineJeffrySkY From Singapore, joined Feb 2004, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3119 times:

well i guess the definition of "dangerous" is pretty vague. Right now, I am thinking of places that are totally untouristy e.g. Mogadishu , Somalia , with a very unstable political background/massive crime rates etc ..

there are definitely touristy places which have relatively very high crime rates like S.America , Jo'burg , New York etc , but i somehow don't think these places are "dangerous". Probably because there is such a large tourist influx that i feel cabin crews or any foreigner just blends in with the rest. Like in S. Africa, i think there are very good measures to protect the tourists with bodyguards and etc , and so that makes S.Africa a very popular tourist destination with Asians despite the high crime in Jo'burg. I guess an excellent tourist infrastructure can buffer the effects of high crime in the mentality of a tourist.

there are some cities , on the other hand , which are devoid of tourists in a setting of chronic civil unrest going on. I can't imagine the fear and tension the cabin-crew feel when they are planted in midst of such a situation where they seem all alone.

now do these cabin crew have a choice when flying to such places ?? i thought it's the luck of the draw when it comes to crew rostering. is there any "risk compensation/insurance" the airlines make to the crew when operating to these areas ??






User currently offlineAlekToronto From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3092 times:

hey!
The guy who said the African cities are less dangerous than US cities obviously has not visited Lagos or Johannesburg..
Johannesburg is an EXTREMELY Dangerous city. Crews of course are safe granted that they are transfered direct to their secure hotel in the burbs of JoBurg (as downtown is a no go) and stay there...but going downtown is scary. Now I love South Africa in general (esp. Cape Town) but i felt extremely unsafe in Joburg - not a feeling you get in any large US city...Lagos is equally unsettling..can't speak for Luanda thou...just heard its just as bad.
There are of course safe African cities..Dakar is one i have visted.

cheers!
Alek


User currently offlineJeffrySkY From Singapore, joined Feb 2004, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3068 times:

alektoronto : what makes you feel unsafe ?? the locals staring curiously at you or ongoing criminal events ? for me, it's kinda both factors esp. the fact i saw some black punk just stoning the glass windows of a posh jewellery shop in downtown Cape Town in broad daylight. When i went to India, i had these huge crowd of locals just milling around and gives me the "looks" -- kinda normal for any local to do this to a foreigner, but it just makes me uneasy.

But still, it doesn't put me off from going to South Africa. it's a great place and the scenery is like my Windows wallpaper come alive !!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



User currently offlinePhaeton From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 406 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

As said above, Mogadishu in Somalia is very politically unstable and correct me if I'm wrong is basically ruled by clans. I read in a article, that the airport in Mogadishu is occupied by some of these clans and that the runway is so messed up, that it is impossible to land on. If flights would still be operating there, I would have to say, that Mogadishu would be the most dangerous place.

Thomas



"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.", Winston Churchill
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2885 times:

I have to say I always felt safer in JNB (even in Hillbrow) than I did negotiating the scuzzy suburbs of Miami round the airport, where you have to drive to drop off your rental car. We had to stay over one night after getting bumped of the MIA-JNB flight (non-rev) and we stayed in a really crappy motel right by the airport, with drug dealers and hookers in the lobby - charming !

Downtown JNB is a bit of a special case, it was a no-go area for a very long time, from the mid 80's onwards (I know, I used to work there !). But the boerewors rolls they sold outside the Standard Bank in Airways Towers were the BEST !


User currently offlineJeffrySkY From Singapore, joined Feb 2004, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2876 times:

i found this out sometime ago but there are actually regular scheduled flights to Mogadishu Airport by Daallo Airlines ! goodness i wouldn't want to be reading, watching or thinking about "Black Hawk Down" onboard these flights.

Daallo Airlines
D3 158 Ambouli (JIB), Djibouti, Djibouti 08:45+1 day(s)
Mogadishu Int'l (MGQ), Mogadishu, Somalia 11:25+1 day(s)
1 stop(s)
IL8

Daallo Airlines
D3 201 Jomo Kenyatta Int'l (NBO), Nairobi, Kenya 07:00+1 day(s)
Mogadishu Int'l (MGQ), Mogadishu, Somalia 09:00+1 day(s)
Non-stop
IL8


User currently onlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19215 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2845 times:

Pay for me to go to any place in the world, on any airline, on any aircraft, and I'll accept without hesitating! For me, such flights would be considerably more exciting and fascinating. Bring it on!  Big grin


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2816 times:

Agreed, Pe@rson - I'll bring the sandwiches.

User currently onlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19215 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2760 times:

Sounds good to me! Some come on, people - put your money where you mouth is, pay for me to go, I'll take pictures (as proof) and write a nice report for Airliner World and this website on the airline and the airports.  Wink/being sarcastic  Laugh out loud


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineSr176 From Switzerland, joined Feb 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2731 times:

SOLARIX

The mentioned airline is Swissskies (www.swissskies.com) and it is neither related to AA nor to LX but to World Airways. It has not yet started service and it is unclear wheather it will.


User currently offlineFraT From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 1107 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2696 times:

"LTU is flying to Kabul once a week from DUS"

MD11Engineer,
LTU stopped this one pretty quick after the first couple of flights. Not sure if it was because of the DHL incident.
---------------------------------------
"Baghdad is real unsafe, Honiara is unsafe, and I dont think that airlines are willing to send their planes, money and loose cash in those places"

Myk,

where is Honiara (which country)?


25 Post contains images JeffrySkY : JGPH1A : when i went to JNB, my guide took pains to ensure i never stepped into the downtown area. but since JNB is SA's economic/financial capital, w
26 Post contains images Pe@rson : "Pe@rson : hey yeah i would be really excited to fly to these exotic locales but Mogadishu is really pushing the limits. But in any case, if you do go
27 Post contains images JGPH1A : JeffrySky - Airline offices used all to be in downtown JNB, round the Carlton Centre, but they all moved out long ago, they are all in Sandton, Rivoni
28 Pe@rson : "Pe@rson - u might have trouble with accomodation in MGQ - tough to choose between the Ritz Carlton or the Mandarin !" Nah, they'd be more choice. I'm
29 Texan : Honiara is the capital of the Solomon Islands. There are a lot of interesting places to travel to in the Solomons. Did not know that Honiara was unsaf
30 JGPH1A : Texan - Australia have had to send a peacekeeping force to the Solomons to calm things down - the natives were restless.
31 EurostarVA : AirGabon, It might be true that the English accent used by Nigerian controllers is hard to understand by Europeans, but I wouldn't call it a "bad acce
32 JeffrySkY : Pe@rson : i am serious !! because of Daallo Airlines' connections with some key European cities e.g. London and Paris, it's possible to get a one-stop
33 Wing : One man's fear is another man's way to earn money.The previous company I flew for (Pegasus Airlines) was a charter company which flies charter flight
34 Post contains images Airsicknessbag : >>>I hope baggage screening/security checks/immigration aren't done by the local warlords or somethin' .. Security checks? Muahaha, I´ve flown from a
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