Monday, May 27, 2002

What precisely is it with Taiwan's China Airlines anyway? It's not a very big airline (a fleet of 56 aircraft) yet it manages fatal crash after fatal crash. Nine fatal accidents since 1970 and four since 1994. Taiwan is a rich country: the airline has a fleet of fairly modern Boeing and Airbus aircraft (22 years is middle aged for a 747: there are plenty of aircraft this age in the fleets of almost any airline you care to mention, including those with perfect safety records) and should have plenty of money to spend on maintenance and crew training. Yet somehow the airline manages to have more fatal crashes than American and European airlines ten times its size or more. Australia's Qantas is more than 80 years old, and is about double the size of CAL today, and has not had a single fatal accident in its history.

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