A plane disaster Sunday has increased fears among already worried travelers, especially those in Southeast Asia.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappeared from radar Sunday while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore. The plane was carrying 155 passengers and seven crewmembers. All but seven were Indonesian. Three South Koreans were also on the plane along with a passenger each from Britain, France, Malaysia and Singapore.
AirAsia is a budget airline with links to AirAsia Malaysia. Malaysian air transportation has had a difficult 2014.
In March, the national carrier, Malaysia Airlines, had a plane disappear over the Indian Ocean. That plane was carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.
Investigators have found no sign of the plane or the people it carried. The plane’s disappearance shocked the world.
Several months later, Malaysia Airlines suffered another disaster. Flight 17 went down in Ukraine on July 17 after an apparent missile strike. It was traveling from Amsterdam, Holland to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the time. All 298 people on the plane were killed in the crash.
Many travelers feared flying Malaysian airlines after flights 370 and 17. Now, many travelers are concerned about AirAsia.
Daniel Lim is a 26-year-old financial official. He flew on two AirAsia flights recently. He told Reuters news agency it is beginning to look “like a Malaysia problem now.”
Mr. Lim called the situation “unsettling.” He said he is a little worried about flying on any Malaysian airline now.
Liow Tiong Lai is Malaysia’s transport minister. He told reporters Monday to remember that the aircraft is registered in Indonesia. It is an Indonesian aircraft, he said.
Mr. Lai said “don’t be prejudiced,” about Malaysian air carriers. He said he is sure about the safety of Malaysian planes.
But many travelers do not share Mr. Lai’s confidence. And business is expected to be affected. A report from Hong Leong Investment Bank said that the three air disasters will probably have a bad effect on demand for air travel in the region.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Words in this Story
budget – adj. low in price
unsettling – adj. making you upset or nervous
prejudice – n. having or showing an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.
confidence – n. the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true