China Air Plane Travel Safety – Flying High Over Development Challenges

China maintains an amazing air travel safety record despite some colorful anecdote and one or two surprising mishaps. The data is especially noticeable for a very large country that grows at paralyzing speeds close to or more than 10 percent annually.

This article began as a reason to present an old, entertaining piece of former foreign correspondent of the Chicago Tribune Uli Schmetzer Report entitled "Near the Twilight Zone: All Air China's Flight 173. " In the process, it grew in a short, thankfully reassuring look at the safety of Chinese air travel.

Air China Flight 173

In his article 1992, it is clear that Schmetzer, sometimes morbidly, describes the colorful sightings on Air China Flight 173 from Sydney to Beijing. Passenger notes accompanied a man leading his chair with handcuffs and a harpoon. There are broad controversy among passengers, including two neurosurgeons, as to whether the older man lying in Row 16 lives or dies. The plane gets repaired on the path before the departure of two "mighty bangs" in his whirlwind with sledgehammer. During the flight, personnel often bother to study their fate from a passenger who reads the palm. In another disturbing piece, pilots somehow blocked themselves out of the cockpit mid-flight only at the resort with falling doors with an ax to return to the controls.

While Flight 173 often arrives late but safe, passengers on a domestic flight to the Henan Airlines region on the foggy night of August 23, 2010 are not fortunate. The plane crashed outside the city of Yichun in Heilongjiang Province that killed 42 passengers and injured 54 others and sparked new fears about the safety of Chinese air travel.

Air Safety Record of China

Despite the tremendous release, the Henan Airlines flight is also remarkable for China's air safety record. Indeed, data and industry sources indicate that China is really a good safe place to fly. Until the crash, China keeps the air safety record of 2,102 days, or more than five years, without an accident.

Although Schmetzer notes that foreign airline officials have been proven in the excellent Air China safety record. According to the website, Air China has earned 26 percent above (better than) the average accident rate, which looks reasonable compared to other major international carriers, including: Air France ( 79 percent worse than average), Cathay Pacific (31 percent better), Japan Airlines (JAL, 0 percent better / worse) Singapore Airlines (101 percent worse), and Virgin Atlantic (9 percent better ). The "accident rate" is determined by the percentage above or below the average accident rate for 87 major carriers. An airline industry consultancy, GCW Consulting, reviews "China's overall air safety record" which is one of the best in the world over the last six years.

Development Challenges

The Chinese record is even more impressive when you consider the many things that work against it. China has the second highest passenger passenger per year in 2008 with 251 million km, coming from the US (1.3 million km) and the UK (228 million km). To safeguard its rapid growth, China built 40 airports in the last decade. In order to handle a lucrative travel market in China, Chinese provinces are hastily hiring Soviet-built old airplanes and sometimes rely on Russian crews in 1990's. As with other industries, China's airlines have struggled to develop and maintain a professional, well trained workforce of management, staff, and retention personnel.

Air Travel Safety

Instead of relying solely on China's safety record, passengers can also take pleasure in knowing the overall possibility of appearing in a deadly accident on the plane is definitely in favor of them. According to, "Flight accidents are very rare, with the probability of a passenger killed on a single flight of about eight million-one-on-one. It would be statistically over 21,000 years before he was killed . "

However, in spite of some disturbing anecdotal evidence, between China's good air safety record and the overall exceptional serious accident of the plane, it seems business travelers and holidays in Chinese airlines can be sure they will arrive to their next destination of safe and sound.

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