Or Laos Aviation, or whatever they're called now!
Just a quick one - I've heard some scare stories about this airline. If anyone has flown Laos Air, please could you let me know (ASAP!) what they're like + whether I should fear for my life.
I have flown in Lao Airline's French built ATR-72 on domestic routes...Found no reason to fear for my life...Flights were on time, and cabin crew friendly...though seats a bit cramped.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 18, 2007, at 3:15 AM by danalasta ]
I flew with them from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, no problems either! Only problems I've heard about is some domestic flights, landings can be difficult if the weather is bad, hard to land due to mountains! I'm sure they wouldnt fly if the weather is that bad.
I flew with them twice last year, from Pakse to Vientiane and from Vientiane to Bangkok. Both flights were not different from flights with other airlines, the staff was very friendly and very tolerant concerning our hand luggage and the plane itself didn't give a bad impression.
Filika - Best regards,
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 18, 2007, at 5:33 AM by Winkekatze ]
As Laura says I think domestic flights are the ones to worry about - I've heard they don't always use radar!
Also, the British foreign and commonwealth office does advise its citizens not to travel with Lao Aviation.
Lao Airlines has never had a crash involving an ATR-72, and even the ever-cautious US State Department recommends that travellers fly only in Lao aircraft certified for regular international routes, such as the ATR's.
It is a different story for Lao Airlines' domestic routes workhorse, the Y-12. Yet even here, international safety records show that Lao Y-12 crash statistics are not as bad as their reputation might suggest. The airline, operating as Lao Aviation, has had a total of five crashes, three with fatalities, since 1990. In December 1993, a Y-12 crashed in fog, killing 18. In May 1998, a Yak-40 carrying a Vietnamese Military delegation crashed in a rainstorm, with 26 dead. Then in October 2000, a Y-12 crashed in bad weather near Sam Neua, with 8 dead. The last mishap was in February 2002 when a Y-12 was knocked over by high winds while taking off. There were no deaths in that incident.
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to fly Lao is yours. Could a crash happen with you on board? Absolutely. Will it? Probably not. At least now you'll be able to base your decision on facts rather than hearsay!
Guys - thanks for all the tips - has cleared my mind up + I'm going to go with them to Siem Reap. Hopefully won't be the last post you hear from me!