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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

OUR TREASURES: The Flag Carriers







I've been wanting to compile our Flag Carriers in one posting and put a little twist to it. The national airline that carries our flag says a lot about our country -- and our region! The service, the smiles, the in-flight meals, the uniforms and the most visible of it all... the livery!

Our region's airliners have undergone a series of make overs and I asked 35 people to rank it according to impact.


This is the countdown of Southeast Asia's Best Airline Make-Over...



Cambodia's defunct national airline Royal Air Cambodge comes at No.10 for obvious reasons. Do you see a change between the 1998 photo and 2001?--None. This airline went bankrupt in 2001 and eversince; Cambodia goes without a flag carrier.


The region's largest airline comes at No.9... for the same reason -- no change in livery between a photo in 1985 and 2007. But if you would look closely...they only added a tiny gold lining on the tail! Singapore Airlines was established in 1947; has 96 planes + 107 on delivery; and flies to 65 destinations. With the number of planes they have, Singapore Airlines has as little as 5 incidence on safety according to Aviation Safety Database. This is one of the world's undisputed best airline. Website: http://www.singaporeair.com/ "A Great Way to Fly."


Laos' flag carrier comes at No.8! Don't you just love that frangipani flower on it's new livery? Although Lao Airlines don't have a very good reputation in safety, they only have 9 incidence according to Aviation Safety Database. Lao Airlines was established in 1976; has only 4 planes and flies to 15 destinations. Their website is http://www.laoairlines.com/ "The Spirit of Laos."

Don't you just love the crisp yellow and white livery of this very conservative airline? Here's a pic taken in 1985 and 2007. Royal Brunei Airlines doesn't need any lavish marketing ads because maybe they don't need the money? Maybe they just wanted a flag carrier for the heck of it and won't care if anyone flies on it? Maybe.

Established in 1974, they have 10 planes on their fleet. Flies to 21 destinations and has 0 incidence of safety-issues. Website: http://www.bruneiair.com/ Airline slogan: "We don't give a hoot if you fly with us or not...we got lotsa mullah already!" -- just kidding! What's Royal Brunei's slogan anyway?

Malaysia Airlines comes a long way from that boring all red livery in 1985 to a new, crisp and modern design of 2007. They thrown in a shade of blue and took down the "N" in Malaysian. The region's 2nd largest fleet has 95 planes; Malaysia Airlines flies to 79 destinations in 35 countries; has 4 incidence and was established in 1947. Website: http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/ "Going Beyond Expectations." --and they got tasty, delicious crews!

Here's a photo of Philippine Airlines in 1985 and 2005. Isn't it such a beauty? Philippine Airlines is one of the first in the world to get rid of the lines -- making the livery crisp, sweet and simple. They al so added an "s" in Philippine and took down the "Airlines" --it's now simply, "Philippines." And oh! They also threw in that rising sun from which they got their slogan.
Established in 1941 (Asia's first airline); has 32 fleets and flies to 42 destinations. They also have the most number of safety incidence at 67 (OMG!) according to Aviation Safety Database. Website: http://www.philippineairlines.com/ "It's All About Experience."


Ay-yai-yay caramba! Is it really Myanmar International? The first time I saw the new livery in 2006 I fell off my seat! From that boring 1999 design comes a beauty to behold! Is it really MAI? I have to take a picture to make sure...but it occured to me, why is the livery a little bit familiar? As it turned out, MAI shares the same colours with Pegasus Airlines of Turkey. Hmmm....whatever. Myanmar's flag carrier was established in 1993; has 13 fleets that flies to 4 (yes, 4!-- don't laugh!) destinations. MAI has 11 incidence in safety. Website: http://www.maiair.com/ "Modern Comforts, Gentle Traditions."


Garuda Indonesia's dramatic "The World Has A New Airline." campaign in the 90's made me fall in love with it's oh-so-fucken-cool livery. Garuda is a mythical bird that carries the Hindu god Vishnu around the universe. A very opt name for a national carrier. Established in 1949, it has 57 fleets that flies to 43 destinations. Safety incidence? 36. Came a long way from that very uptight 1985 photo to a chic and cool modern colors of 2005! Garuda Indonesia safely lands on No.3.


Whether you agree with us or not; whether you cry biased or whatever... Thailand's flag carrier lands at No.2 with it's "oh-that's-so-huh?-is-that-really-fucken-wha'?" livery. This new colors made a stir in European airports, plane spotters go ga-ga and made the designers go "ooooohhh-la-la!" Ha! I don't have to convince you it's beautiful because you KNOW it is! Dammit!

Thai Airways International was established in 1960; has 91 fleets + 17 more coming; and flies to 74 destinations. Safety incidence? 9. Website: http://www.thaiairways.com/ "Smooth As Silk."



And there it is... Vietnam's flag carrier taxiing through the runway...it's color transforms in all shades of blue by the changing skylight...the gold lotus tail gleaming and proud...

The sight of Vietnam Airlines new livery is awe-inspiring indeed. From the very conservative 90's design to the dusky, almost enigmatic colours of 2007.

Haunting, enigmatic, golden colors that truly reflect's Vietnam's culture as a whole.

Truly the region's best airline make-over!


Vietnam Airlines:

http://www.vietnamairlines.com/


****

21 Comments:

Kira said...

I think #3 should be #1 hahaha! Greetings from Indonesia!

Q The Conqueror said...

Lol @PAL. 67 incidents! The best. Here in the Philippines, they say that when you fly PAL, you're always late. When you fly Cebu Pacific, you'll depart from Cebu and land in the Pacific. When you fly Asian Spirit, you depart an Asian and end up a spirit. :D Cheers! (Cebu Pacific's colorful planes beat out most of the other national carriers).

Mariani of Italy said...

Great post here! I like it very much. Of all the national airlines in Southeast Asia;

Best In-flight Meal: Thai Airways
Close 2nd: Malaysia

Best Crew: Malaysia Airlines
Close 2nd: Thai Airways

Best 'Looking' Crew: Royal Brunei
Close 2nd: Singapore Airlines

Best Airline Overall: Singapore
Close 2nd: Thai airways

I agree with your Best Make-Over but I think Royal Brunei tops Philippine Airlines there. Don't you think?

My opinion. :-)

Most Reliable: Singapore Airlines
Close 2nd: Thai Airways

diwata said...

hmmm how come you don't have Korean Airlines?

Singapore's still the best for me... Service-wise, Food-wise and not to mention their FA's ha ha ha...

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@Diwata...if you didn't notice, this blog is mainly about Southeast Asia.

Eurasians and bi-racials next and then Bisexuality. The 3 main topics.

Korea belongs to some other blog. :-)

Anonymous said...

yes I totally agree...Vietnam Airlines has been changed so dramatically over the previous years...and they're still growing...this carrier has the 2nd biggest revenue in SEA by 2006!

Reyville said...

When I was still a student (taking BS Foreign Service - Diplomacy), I studied the political culture of almost all countries in the world. There was a time when I dreamed of a ONE SOUTHEAST ASIA, like that of the European Union... ONE CONSTITUTION, ONE ECONOMY, ONE CURRENCY... But this region is diverse and having a united thoughts about everything is just impossible. I thank this blog, and to those who believe in Southeast Asia's capabilities, for patronizing our own and highlighting all the best of the region. This blog is not only entertaining, it is also informative.

Mihael Keehl said...

Haha! Philippine Airlines' "It's all about experience" slogan is true. Experience the thrill of anticipating death. With 67 safety incidence, it's the same with riding a roller coaster. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm proud as a Filipino for having a flag carrier. What I'm doing is - hmmm... - building up pride? Mabuhay! haha

riain said...

@ Mihael - sorry but you sounded like a troll. Ive flown PAL over the years, and while their punctuality is at best spotty, they have one of the most experienced pilots in this part of the world. No wonder other countries had been pirating Filipino pilots to the point that we are actually running out pilots now. The reason why PAL scores 67 in aviation safety is that scores are cumulative - PAL is the oldest airline in Asia. Since its last incident in 1998 when a flight overran the runway in Bacolod (not PAL's fault btw, that airport is a disaster waiting to happen as it right smack inside the city and with a very short runway), there has been notable incidence that includes damage of property nor loss of life of the passengers en masse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Airlines#Incidents_and_accidents

riain said...

"..there has NOT been notable incidence that includes damage of property nor loss of life of the passengers en masse." typo. LOL

Bakleeta said...

Isn't Philippine Airlines' slogan "Asia's SUnniest"?

Bittencourt said...

Bakleeta, did you check when was this article written? "Asia's Sunniest" is relaitvely new.

lawrence said...

wow... Vietnam Airlines sure looks nice..

a lotus floating in a pond.


haha.. anyway, maybe Philippine Airlines got most of its safety issues during World War II? shot down by Japs haha


oh, and would you mind making a blog post about secondary carriers? like Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, etc...haha

Bruneian said...

I agree with Mariani of Italy, Brunei Airlines should at least be ahead of Malaysian Airlines... for it is Royalty as in Royal Brunei...haha! No offense... And Royal Brunei is thus the safest among all right? 0 incidents... thats because there are prayers read before every flight... God bless Royal Brunei...

flyers said...

i've traveled with most of the major airlines in SEA and i would say that SQ,TG and MH has their uniqueness in terms of their service..of all this three carrier MH is the most expensive but with the less ammenities etc and still i like to travel on MH because of their hospitality..

ian said...

True on Vietnam Airlines as having the best design among SEA airlines right now. I also like the Brunei and the Thai. Malaysia ang PAL look the same. Hehe. I have yet to experience though flying other than a Philippine airline. Excited to try Singapore Airlines A380. Hehe.

tip said...

malaysian airlines looks like philippines airlines that were in 1985 :D

Anonymous said...

vietnam copy the most reputably KLM (Royal Dutch)design: blue.

glamorousman said...

In my opinion etihad and emirates are the most accomodating staff based on my experience.

thai airways' staffs are sooo sexy and charming...

Philippine airlines' crew is soo ugly and old.

Anonymous said...

how about a list of secondary airlines? cebu pacific air will be in the top 3 for sure.

Anonymous said...

I think...Air asia should be one of the best airline make-over....is this an old one....

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