SOME THINGS WERE NEVER MEANT TO FLY
...and this bloke is one of them
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Disturbing information is coming from Australian pilots flying out of Asia regarding Tony Fernandes and his cut-price airline Air Asia. The flamboyant owner of Queens Park Rangers is fighting a £50 million fine for breaching UK Football League Financial regulations, and it appears that’s not all he is breaching.
The airline company with the much touted “impeccable safety record” may not be that safe after all and there are reports Mr Fernandes is sinking in circuitously acquired debt.
Airline companies attain an AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) for a period of two years. Due to slack maintenance and other infractions, Air Asia's AOC was limited to just six months by the DCA, giving Fernandes time to get his act into gear.
Air Asia was also fined $200,000 in an Australian Court for misleading and deceptive advertising.
Tony Fernandes: “I know Malaysians very well and if you put a fare low enough, they'll risk their lives”, he said to raucous laughter at a recent function.
He continued with, “My engineers talk to my pilots about how to fly the plane more efficiently. We went from 80 landings per set of tyres to 180. We showed them how to brake on the runway, how to use the reverse thrust, how they should descend. We burn just 770 US gallons per hour of fuel. MAS, using a similar plane, burns 1100 US gallons.”
Hmmm, I seriously doubt that figure, and WTF are engineers doing telling pilots how to fly planes? Is there a pattern starting to emerge here?
The cost-cutting fanatic Fernandes also suggested that pilots should avoid using their brakes for as long as possible when landing. "Friction usually does the trick, so our brake pads and tyres last a damn sight longer than most," he said.
I have no idea what the hell he is talking about with that one! But it could be the reason Air Asia flight Z2272 overshot the Kalibo runway in the Philippines only two days after flight Z8501 went down in the Java Sea killing all 162 on board?
Badly shaken passengers at Kalibo had to evacuate the aircraft using emergency slides.
A litany of incidents and accidents dating back to 2004 led some observers to confidently foretell Air Asia’s latest disaster. Mr Fernandes’ move from the music industry to aviation has left a trail of destruction and empty pockets.
Was the decision to keep going into a monsoonal storm part of the Fernandes’ vicious cost-cutting program? Was the captain facing the sack had he turned back?
Air Asia hosties are paid the pittance of $9 per hour air time and pilots are paid well below what other airlines pay. They also sign contracts ensuring they will repay Air Asia for all training costs.
Passengers have complained it takes up to a year of fighting to get refunds from cancelled flights with most simply giving up trying.
Air Asia is run out of a small office in Kuala Lumpur and notoriously corrupt Malaysia is the place to be for avoiding aviation regulations. This latest disaster was the third in 2014 for cut-corner-cut-costs Malaysia based aircraft.
Air Asia is 49 per cent owned by the infamous Indonesians who have also fared poorly in international safety rankings. In 2007, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration gave the country a reduced Category II ranking, which meant Indonesia's regulations did not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
No surprises there for anyone who knows Garuda.
As one Australian captain said, “These Asian guys are okay on simulators and as long as the aircraft’s computers are working they are fine, but that applies to any 14 year old kid too, and there’s no way I’ll bloody fly with them.”
Fernandes’ con-job on a dodgy IPO has India’s investors calling for his blood after Air Asia’s share price changed dramatically after the signing of an agreement with Indian investors. Before signing, Air Asia’s shares were at RM3.50 but after having closed the deal with the Indian investors, Air Asia’s shares curiously dropped to RM2.20.
“This is my worst nightmare”, claimed Fernandes when addressing bereaved families in Surubaya.
That may be true because Air Asia did not have approval for the doomed flight Z8501 which will no doubt let insurance companies off the hook for its up to $320 million replacement cost.