Plane Crash, Bangkok - Phuket, Thailand
Clive Garner, one of the UK's leading travel law experts has warned British Holidaymakers to investigate the safety records of so called low cost airlines in South Asia before booking flights with them.
The warning comes after the Phuket plane crash, which killed 88 people on 16th September 2007 .
As many as 10 Britons are believed to be amongst the dead in the plane crash which occurred as it tried to land during heavy wind and rain.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft involved in the crash was manufactured in the 1980's and was owned and operated by the budget One-Two-Go Airlines. The Aircraft was on a domestic flight from Bangkok to Phuket.
The flight's two data recorders have been recovered from the wreckage - but Thailand's Transport minister Theera Haocharoen said that it was too early to say what had caused the crash.
Mr Garner , Head of the Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell says today: "I am sure that the Civil Aviation Authority will undertake a full investigation into the cause of this tragedy, but it is vital that lessons are learned. Whilst in the UK and Europe the budget airline model has worked well and their safety record is impressive, there are real concerns about some of the operators in Southern Asia.
"There is no doubt many travellers benefit from the low cost, no frills, airlines operating across Europe and other parts of the World; but until safety standards are improved in Southern Asia, I recommend that anyone intending to travel with budget operators there should investigate their safety record before booking their flight."
Phuket Air, a low-cost Thai carrier, has only recently had its ban from flying to some European destinations lifted, whilst all Indonesian airlines remain banned from European destinations. This follows a series of crashes which has led to doubts about safety procedures at airports, pilot training and maintenance in Indonesia.
Orient Thai, the International arm of One-Two -Go has itself been criticised in the recent past by the South Korean Authorities for "substandard safety".
An inquiry line has been set up for friends and family of people suspected to have been travelling on the plane to get further information, on 0207 008 0000.
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