Most of you will be aware that I have an interest but no great background in aviation. On another post there was some discussion about the merits/hazards of flying on el cheepo carriers, Happy to carry that on and broaden it out.
There are of course el cheepo carriers and el cheepo carriers. If I had time to spare I would have no hesitation in flying Jet Star in New Zealand. But airlines like Air Asia and Tiger leave me cold for a whole variety of reasons including the fact that they employ numbers of pilots that (1) wouldn't cut the mustard in more established airlines and (2) young pilots looking to build up their hours. That's not a good recipe for safe travel neither is fact they tend to operate older aircraft with many, many cycles on the clock. Throw in some slap dash maintenance and you get my drift.
Most airline disasters occur on take-off or landing always remembering that any and every landing is a controlled crash. It is acknowledged the one thing airlines could do to greatly increase passenger survivor-ability would be to install rear facing seats but they won't because studies have shown passengers won't stand (sit) for it. Thems the breaks.
Airport congestion is another huge issue at major airports as is the fact that while English is the universal language of the industry some third world (and no so third world) pilots and air traffic controllers find it challenging.