I have changed my mind: I would now fly AirAsia

July 15, 2018
AirAsia X liquidation
An AIrAsia X A330.

The AirAsia Group is now on the up and up in the critical safety area and I would certainly fly with them without hesitation.

Three years ago, after the tragic loss of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28, 2014, which killed 163, I wrote that I would not fly with the group’s airlines because of my concerns.

That article was based on the fact, that apart from AirAsia X the rest of the group’s airlines were not going to do the comprehensive International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

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The IOSA audit covers 1066 parameters and airlines that have done the audit have a four-fold better safety record than those that have not. The audit is done every two years.

Indonesia Airasia A320

However, over a year ago the rest of the group’s airlines started the IOSA process.

An AirlineRatings.com investigation has revealed that AirAsia X has just had its IOSA certification renewed, while the operations in Indonesia and the Philippines “are in the process of closing the small number of outstanding findings with the Audit Organization and are both well on track to achieve IOSA accreditation, in due process, by or before October 2018”.

An AirAsia spokesperson told AirlineRatings.com that “AirAsia Malaysia is also in the process of closing any outstanding findings and is on track to achieve accreditation before the December timeframe.”

AirAsia Thailand will start the audit process in August and it will take 12 months. Other members of the group will follow.

The airline group has certainly had some bad press particularly in Australia where a string of incidents, some serious, has focused attention on the airline’s systems, pilot training and culture.

However, the spokesperson told AirlineRatings.com that “recently the AirAsia Group formed two independent internal departments – Group Safety and Group Operational Quality Assurance to oversee safety and quality assurance for all AOCs (Air Operator Certificates).

An Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) is the approval granted by a National Aviation Authority (NAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes.

AirAsia X Business Class angled flat beds Picture: Facebook/ AirAsia
AirAsia X Business Class

“Since then, both Group departments have been working vigorously with all AOCs to strengthen safety and efficiency in all operational areas,” said the spokesperson.

Clearly, the airline is on the right flight path to dramatically improve its safety culture and this is so important as it continues its spectacular growth.

Today the Group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations spanning 25 countries.

Its fleet numbers over 160 Airbus aircraft with a further 349 on order.

AirAsia brought the low-cost airline model to Asia in 2002. It has joint-venture partners in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan the Philippines, India an, China as well as long-range partner AirAsia X in Kuala Lumpur.