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Safety Of Indonesian Airlines  
User currently offlinesr176 From Switzerland, joined Feb 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6201 times:

I would be thankful for a short feedback regarding safety of Indonesian Airlines. I have lost a bit the overview and I am sure that at least some of the airlines are working hard to improve their reputation. But which ones should still be avoided? I am basically interested in Garuda / Mandala / Lion. Any inputs welcome.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6189 times:

I may get flammed for this, but I would avoid them all where possible... Maybe Garuda is the best of the worst


Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineGFFgold From Indonesia, joined Feb 2007, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6167 times:

Garuda and Mandala have been under the microscope for some time and have succeeded in having the previous EU ban on all Indonesian airlines lifted. I would have no qualms about flying either airline. In fact, GA recently went from a three to a four star Skytrax rating because of its much improved international product. Mandala have come a very long way in the past few years. Of course, when flying within Indonesia you are only as safe as local ATC and airports will allow and in those areas there is still much room for improvement.

Lion is very much bringing up the rear in terms of safety culture and I personally avoid flying them. The Australian authorities have repeatedly failed them from flying to Aus. Lion management remains stuck in the style of the flying circus mentality that was epitomised by the former Adam Air, and I have met a few very de-motivated crew who are basically stuck there by draconian contract penalty clauses. Lion have lots of shiny new planes but scratch below the surface of the glossy brochure photos and it is the same old mess underneath.


User currently offlineN757KW From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 435 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6063 times:

I have flown over 30 flights in Indonesia almost all between CGK-PLM. Garuda has been the best. I fly Lion quite a bit due to Garuda being full or very expensive airfares to PLM. I do feel like I put my life in their hands every time I board that nice shiny B737-900ER. Plus they only have pay cabin service. Garuda still gives that little snack box.

The customer service at Indonesian Airports seems to be almost non-existant. I did just fly KUL-PLM on Air Asia and their airport staff left me thinking the US carriers are not that bad.

N757KW



"What we've got here, is failure to communicate." from Cool Hand Luke
User currently offlineafterburner From Indonesia, joined Jun 2005, 1211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5905 times:

Quoting jetfuel (Reply 1):
Maybe Garuda is the best of the worst

Garuda is a four-star airline, just like Qantas.


User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6898 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5828 times:

Quoting GFFgold (Reply 2):
Lion management remains stuck in the style of the flying circus mentality that was epitomised by the former Adam Air

Well, sometimes it's unclear who was following who in those days...

Well, one airline has had a zero incident year in 2009... Indonesia Air Asia... the other one is Mandala... the rest... no such luck!!!!! (Not even Garuda!)
Easiest one is stick to the ones on the EU exemptions list... which, for the regular airlines and/or zero incident years... limits it to Garuda, Mandala and Indonesia Air Asia... The latter is supervised not only under Indonesian DGCA, but also Malaysian DCA as part of the group safety oversight... and Malaysia hasn't been blacklisted...   

On Mandala, best on time reliability, unless you're having badluck flying PK-RMC, one of the oldest A320s around... just saw it cough up 3 days ago... very safe, it has passed strict audits done by various corporate customers who can make the DGCA inspections look like grocery shopping... but sometimes RMC coughing up brings up inconvenience...

On Indo Air Asia, 2nd best on time reliability, unless you're having bad luck flying when the 733s are coughing blood allover the place because the heavy maintenance and line maintenance spares support is done by... Garuda Maintenance Facility... (whose service to GA's competitors is rather questionable)...

On days when -RMC and the QZ 733s cough up together... best to avoid CGK's T3 altogether... there's probably riot police on standby nearby!   

*Typing this from the ops office of one of the 2 companies mentioned...    and the guys here agree to the above 100%!!!!!*



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlinecloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5725 times:

Safety? What safety? Indonesia and safe should not appear in the same sentence regarding civil aviation. They can look great, smell nice, depart on time, with heavenly service and still crash. Safety is low on the agenda at best and non existent in the smaller carriers.

Quoting GFFgold (Reply 2):
In fact, GA recently went from a three to a four star Skytrax rating because of its much improved international product.
Quoting afterburner (Reply 4):
Garuda is a four-star airline, just like Qantas.

AFAIK safety is not part of the quality assessment by Skytrax. So 4 or 5 stars mean f all in terms of the likelihood you will die from a plane crash on any particular Skytrax certified airline. The stars only tells you if you can bathe in chocolate sludge at the airport lounge. Not very much more.

Quoting N757KW (Reply 3):
Garuda has been the best. I fly Lion quite a bit due to Garuda being full or very expensive airfares to PLM. I do feel like I put my life in their hands every time I board that nice shiny B737-900ER. Plus they only have pay cabin service. Garuda still gives that little snack box.

What you "felt" does not even remotely relate to flight safety. The hosties can give you all the free food you want but the plane can still crash.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 5):
for the regular airlines and/or zero incident years

So in other words - until the next accident happens. How very reassuring.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 5):
On Mandala, best on time reliability
Quoting mandala499 (Reply 5):
On Indo Air Asia, 2nd best on time reliability

Nor is on time performance any indication of flight safety. Your flight can depart bang on time and still crash.

[Edited 2010-02-14 09:47:11]


A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineGFFgold From Indonesia, joined Feb 2007, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
Indonesia and safe should not appear in the same sentence regarding civil aviation

A few years ago I would have agreed with you. However, things change and there are ample precedents around of airlines or national regulators who were shoddy in the past and have been forced to reinvent themselves. I usually have a lot of respect for cloudyapple's views but this time around it sounds like slagging something off purely because of a past reputation. Surely better to encourage improvement than to suggest something or someone will never be any good.

As someone who has actually flown around Indonesia quite a lot, and peeked behind the scenes, I can tell you that (with the help of pressure from the EU and others) there have been tangible improvements in the safety culture of both Mandala and Garuda, among others, while I concede there are still plenty of cowboys about. I stress that there is absolutely no room for complacency and still a long way to go. At long last I even hear ordinary Indonesians speaking up about transport safety rather than just looking for the cheapest fare from A to B.

I am old enough to remember when Korean and China Airlines, for example, had issues with their safety culture while today they have recouped public confidence.


User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6898 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5551 times:

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
Safety? What safety? Indonesia and safe should not appear in the same sentence regarding civil aviation.

So what is the indicator of safety? What is safety?

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
Safety is low on the agenda at best and non existent in the smaller carriers.

You need to come here and see the reality. Yes, there are those still where safety is a joke... but, that doesn't mean everyone takes it as a joke.

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
So in other words - until the next accident happens. How very reassuring.

Well, it's a question on whether that carrier's system works in the long run, and whether it can be sustained or not. The same goes with any airline in the world. The moment one says "it won't happen to me", it will!

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
Nor is on time performance any indication of flight safety. Your flight can depart bang on time and still crash.

Well, bad maintenance leads to poor reliability... Poorly trained crew leads to the planes being banged here and there, and that causes delays too...

Of course, there will always be some who will never believe that the word safety exist in Indonesia, no matter how some have changed...    Once something happens, for some, that company will forever be condemned... Well, we can't make the earth flat can we?



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlinecloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5350 times:

Double post. Please delete.

[Edited 2010-02-15 10:14:01]


A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlinecloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

I should have qualified what I said. Let's go back a little while.

If you Google ICAO USOAP you'll find that there was an audit of Indonesia in February 2007 and Indonesia scored 45% overall. They were absolutely slashed in the report. Of particular concern was Technical Personnel Qualification and Training which they scored 2 out of 10. That meant the required standards and procedures were poorly implemented. 7 airlines out of 54 went in the bottom league (Cat 3), with most majors like Garuda, Merpati and Lionair in Cat 2. None of the airlines met all the minimum safety standards.
http://www.icao.int/fsix/auditRep3_CSA.cfm?s=Indonesia&i=81
http://www.icao.int/fsix/AuditReps/C...l/Indonesia_Final_Audit_Report.pdf

In May the FAA downgraded Indonesia to Cat 2 for Aviation Safety Oversight. A Cat 2 rating indicates either a lack of regulations or technical expertise by a nation’s civil aviation authority to oversee carriers in accordance with minimum international standards.

Soon afterwards the EU banned all Indonesian airlines from the EU's sky.

Then pretty quickly in July 2007 Indonesia agreed publicly with ICAO to restructure the entire DGCA to address the findings of the audit done earlier. I have not known of another country that has needed to so so drastically and having to publicly admit that they needed wide ranging reform. While I admire they have the guts to admit their shortcomings I also suspect this has been done to try to rescue what little confidence is left in the civil aviation sector in the country. This is the ICAO press release at the time - http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/2007/pio200704_e.pdf

In July 2008, the EC had the following to say "In the case of Indonesia, the Commission and the Air Safety Committee which is composed of all EU Member States heard three airlines at their request – Garuda, Mandala and Air Fast, along with the authorities for civil aviation of Indonesia. Following the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, the Commission decided that the Indonesian authorities have still not developed and implemented an efficient oversight programme on any of the carriers under their regulatory control. Besides, the corrective actions designed to address safety deficiencies detected by the ICAO and by the Commission, have not yet been assessed by ICAO."

In November 2008, ICAO's president made the following address in Jakarta about progress. http://www.icao.int/icao/en/pres/kob...127_Jakarta_4thANSP_Seminar_en.pdf In summary Indonesia passed a new law to "enable the DGCA to restructure" int eh 1 year since the declaration. So on a practical level, little has been done. The president went on to remind Indonesia timely implementation of the declaration would be a real test for the country. He hit the nail on the head. He was not satisfies with the progress. But I agree it was a step in the right direction.

Then as recently as December 2009, the FAA determined that the Indonesian DGCA was still not in compliance with the ICAO USOAP standards. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis/cis_2052.html#aviation_safety

It is true 4 airlines have been deleted off the EU's blacklist last year and Indonesia is working to get another 23 off soon. But I think that was a very poor decision by the EU that individual airlines were able to "prove" their innocence while ICAO has determined that the entire system in place in the country was flawed. The EU cites when it removed these 4 carriers from the list "because their authority ensures that they respect the international safety standards". Well it has not been determined officially that the Indonesia DGCA is capable. There is therefore a flaw in the logic.

As of today, Indonesia is still FAA Cat 2 and the remedial actions are yet to be officially assessed by ICAO.

While I agree with you flying in Indonesia is safeR than it was a couple years back with ICAO and CASA helping to sort things out but I am not yet convinced that Indonesia is safe in absolute terms.

Meanwhile you can find the long list of accidents and incidents involving Indonesian carriers here: http://aviation-safety.net/database/dblist.php?Country=PK



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineUS330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3871 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5262 times:

So, the general consensus is that of the Indonesian domestic carriers, Garuda, Air Asia, and Mandala are the best in terms of safety?
How do they compare to the non-flying travel options in terms of safety?
I might be visiting Indonesia within the next couple of months, so this information is also valuable to me.


User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6898 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5195 times:

I'm glad someone still remembers we're still in FAA country category 2... many here think that only the EU ban mattered...

No doubt there is still a lot to do on safety in Indonesia. However, the days of "Indonesia and safe" unable to appear in the same sentence regarding to flying is over on the most part. Change is happening, although it is sad to find the government playing catch up with airlines that have upped the standards...

The exemption on 4 airlines are... exemptions to the ban. It does not reflect the regulatory standards. The 4 is Garuda, Mandala, Premiair and Airfast. The latter 2 are charter operators. What I find interesting is that Travira, whom I find operate to a higher standard than Premiair and Airfast, did not bother applying for exemption as they felt it was not needed. They've passed more safety audits than the other two. On the regular carriers, Indonesia Air Asia also didn't bother applying for the exemption, its reasons are that it is also monitored by the Malaysian DCA as they are part of the Air Asia group, and decided to focus on being accepted by CASA, whom they passed with flying colours... unlike Lion Air who failed 3x and ended up being told to get an IOSA before their next application (which they still have failed to obtain at least once already).

Our main problem is the regulator, many have complained about unnecessary regulations which were haphazardly put up at the request of a carrier, whilst the oversight capability remains behind both the good and most of the bad airlines.

The number of reforms that needed to be done is long, and this is something that goes largely unnoticed by the public. Even the aviation law that was implemented in January 2009, still has a lot of uneccessary points, put in by politicians seeking symbolic "action", which adds a lot more to the necessary reforms to make the whole damn thing work. Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to convince parliamentarians on what needs to be done and what's not necessary than to convince the average person on the street.

I don't blame the airlines that decided, "to hell with the government, let's do the improvements ourselves."

As to the long list of accidents and incidents... the incidents/accidents list is actually, longer, but they involve "the usual suspects". I don't know how the insurers can still make money at the rate some are going!

Quoting US330 (Reply 11):
So, the general consensus is that of the Indonesian domestic carriers, Garuda, Air Asia, and Mandala are the best in terms of safety?

Yes. The companies that do audits on airlines for their staff travel generally conclude to that.

Quoting US330 (Reply 11):
How do they compare to the non-flying travel options in terms of safety?

Flying is still the safest option to travel. Road travel by private vehicles do seem reckless, but the accidents rate is miraculously low. Rail and Bus isn't so lucky... and sea? I do wonder how they don't sink more often... stick to short ferry crossings, short bus/rail trips, do the rest by air.

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

Quoting cloudyapple (Reply 6):
The hosties can give you all the free food you want but the plane can still crash.

Which, if you wish to be entirely accurate, any plane on any airline can do as well......including one from Hong Kong.


User currently offlinecloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4931 times:

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 13):
Which, if you wish to be entirely accurate, any plane on any airline can do as well......including one from Hong Kong.

So free food or not it's got nothing to do with safety. In Indonesia, in Hong Kong or in the UK or anywhere in the world indeed.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineJQFlightie From Australia, joined Mar 2009, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4839 times:

it doesnt matter how new the aircraft are, it comes down to basic training of air-crew..
Its not boeings fault that Lion keep on having tail-strikes on their B739's.... its pilot error! So until the standard of training comes up to scratch i would avoid most of them at any cost!
LH, KL, QR all fly into Indonesia from various ports in Asia.. try and use someone like that with 5th freedom flights 



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