Air Travel Still Safe, Amid The AirAsia QZ8501 Mystery

December 31, 2014

From the mysterious disappearances of AirAsia QZ8501 and MH370 to the fatal crash of AH5017, the aviation industry has certainly been marred by a string of high profile air disasters and missing planes in 2014. With these unfortunate aerial mysteries and tragedies, a lot of consumers are now wondering if airplanes are still safe for frequent fliers and travelers. As a matter of fact, some are saying that 2014 is the worst year in aviation’s recent history.

Yet, for all these aeronautical enigmas, air travel is still the one of the safest way of traveling, says recent data and statistics.

A low number of crashes for 2014 (including the AirAsia QZ8501)

Surprisingly, 2014 has the lowest number of airplane crashes in over 70 years, according to the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives.   This Geneva-based organization has already considered the disappearance of AirAsia QZ8501 as an aviation crash, increasing theyear’s total number of crashes to 111.

When was the last time the world only had a hundred and eleven plane crashes? The answer is in 1927. Shocked? Don’t be, as air travel is still a safe way of traveling. And besides, would you prefer to travel across vast and perilous oceans for weeks than fly and reach your destination in less than a couple of days?

Air travel is safer than driving

When airline disasters like AirAsia QZ8501happen, they create big buzzing news all over the world. But in reality, far more people die in car accidents than plane crashes.

In the wake of the infamous 9/11 tragedy, a vast number of American travelers switched to driving from flying. A year after the terrorist attack, the rate of airline passengers in the USA fell around 12 to 20 percent. As expected, the usage of road travel surged dramatically.

American travelers, however, have eventually reverted to the skies, simply because long-distance driving is a lot more dangerous than air travel. A German professor named Gerd Gigerenzer estimated that the death toll in the road one year after the September-11 attack drastically increased to more than 1,500 people.

When it comes to transportation, taking a motorcycle ride is by far the riskiest way to travel. As recent studies suggest, motorcycling, when compared mile-for-mile with flying, is 2,999 times more deadly. Traveling in a truck or car is approximately a hundred times more deadly than air travel as well.

AirAsia had an impressive safety record

Prior to the disappearance of AirAsia QZ8501, AirAsia, including its affiliate in Indonesia, nearly had an unblemished record, when it comes to safety. Even though AirAsia had a number of technical jargons and runway excursions, it didn’t suffered any fatal tragedies and accidents before 2014.

Airplane design is constantly improving

In the past five decades, the leading commercial airline companies in the world have racked up almost a billion of flight hours, which allowed the industry to record a steady flow of information that will be used to continually improve the design of engines and airplanes. Bill Bozin, Airbus Americas’ safety vice president, says that all these gathered pieces of information will give aircraft engineers a better understanding the limits and capabilities of the machine.

Cutting-edge cockpit technology

A lot of modern airline companies have already replaced their old-fashioned mechanical controls with electronic varities. These planes, named as fly-by-wire, include the Airbus A380, A340 and A330, as well as the Boeing 787 and 777.  As air crafts transition from computer to machine, air travel becomes better, safer and more efficient. These electronic controls have advanced telecommunication and displays as well as satellite global positioning, making air travel even more precise and better.

Still think air travel isn’t safe? Think again, my friend, and don’t let the eerie disappearance of AirAsia QZ8501 affect your wiliness to travel via air. After all, statistics and data don’t lie.

To make your next trip safer and hassle-free, make it a point to plan it cautiously with Trekeffect!

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Aldrich Infantado
Aldrich Infantado is a travel junkie and a writing aficionado who loves to share amazing travel tips to his fellow travelers.
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