I would have loved to write about how PM Lee have to congratulate PM Abdullah although the latter would really not be happy about the election results, but this topic caught my eyes – Adam Air (emphasize budget airlines) skids off runway. It seems that budget airlines are really living up to their names – being budget in almost everything. One thing I hope for is that the safety of the passengers do not get discounted along the way.

When budget airlines first hit Singapore, it was such a big thing and almost everyone thinks that this spells the end of expensive air travel. However, this was not to be. Apparently, even Tiger Air (ran or spun off by Singapore Airlines?) has its own fair share of problems of flight delays and not notifying their passengers of changes to flight time; and of course the make-shift terminal that is really… budget.

Sigh. Do they have to make it so apparent that they are serving budget airlines? Then again, I don’t have much to complain. This (the facilities and all) is better than the Thai airport who always seem to get their own airlines to land their passengers in the middle of the tarmac, and I thought it was a new airport. You mean to say they don’t have enough berths?! Sigh…

JAKARTA – AN Indonesian passenger plane carrying 174 people skidded off the runway in heavy rain while landing at Batam airport, an airline spokesman said.

The Boeing 737-400 operated by local budget carrier Adam Air overshot the runway at Hang Nadim airport on Batam, an Indonesian island close to Singapore, and its right wing was damaged, said airline spokesman Danke Drajat on Monday.

‘It rained heavily at the airport but whether it was due to the weather it is not for us to say,’ Mr Drajat said, adding that the national transport safety committee was investigating.

None of the 169 passengers and five crew members on board the plane coming from the capital Jakarta were injured but several people were being treated for shock, he said.

Indonesia’s airline industry has grown rapidly in the past decade following liberalisation, with the launch of new players and a wider choice of routes across the sprawling archipelago.

However, the world’s fourth-most populous country has suffered a string of airline disasters in recent years, raising concerns about safety standards and prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from its airspace.

In January 2007, an Adam Air plane crashed into the sea off Sulawesi island, with all 102 on board missing and presumed dead.

Adam Air planes have also experienced a number of non-fatal incidents in recent years. — REUTERS

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 10th March 2008

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