In this introductory video, AirlineRatings.com Managing Director and founder, Geoffrey Thomas talks about his passion for aviation and motivation to dispel the myths about flying.
Ever since he can recall Geoffrey has had a love of aviation, nurtured initially by his uncle John Maskiell who was one of the senior engineers for Trans Australian Airlines.
“Uncle John would take me to the airport and allowed to clamber over Vickers Viscounts and Douglas DC-6Bs,” said Thomas
“Then in my teenage years, a visit to New Zealand sparked my interest further.”
“I wanted to remember the family holiday and in particular a girl I fell for so I wrote to Air New Zealand and ask for a picture of its aircraft.”
“The airline sent a magnificent color photo and I fell in love with the plane and forgot the girl,” said Thomas with a smile.
Thomas says his passion was fired and was soon collecting and reading everything he could on airlines and aircraft.
“Then I noted some of what was being written in the paper about airlines was wrong and the local paper encouraged me to write features and my involvement deepened.”
Thomas explains while it was a weekend hobby to start with he turned it into a full-time career in the 1990s when he secured a position as South East Asia Editor for McGraw Hill’s Aviation Week and Space Technology.
At the same time, he was also appointed to the position as the Aviation Editor for The West Australian newspapers.
In 2000, he accepted an offer from Air Transport World, a Washington DC-based trade journal to be a Senior Editor.
Thomas retired from ATW in 2012 to form AirlineRatings.com.
He explains that the motivation for the website is to inform the traveling public about which airlines are safe and those that are not.
“I kept being asked on TV after a crash how do people know what is a safe airline and that was the spark to create the website,” said Thomas
“Aviation is shrouded in mystery and the industry is almost always the opposite of what you think.”
“A great example is an aircraft’s wing. We believe that strength is rigidity yet in aviation flexibility is a great strength and that is why wings bend and twist.”
On safety, Thomas says that “about 70 percent of passengers have some degree of fear of flying and that is perfectly understandable.”
“We are fascinated yet frightened by flight. We want to be in control but we are not. We want to see where we are going but we cannot. We want to understand flight but we do not,” says Thomas.
“It’s the perfect cocktail for fear.”
“But at AirlineRatings.com our mission is to help the traveling public understand aviation and airlines and take that fear away.”
Enjoy the journey.