That’s a question more and more “average passengers” may soon be asking. In a former post I mentioned a kind of lack of transparency that impacts passengers and even airline employees’ trust toward airlines.
In short, it’s all about wondering why, when facing a similar situation, two airlines may make radically different decisions and, in other cases, how many times can an incident repeat before an airline reacts, even if no directive has been issued.
Some airlines may be over-cautious, some lax and some may find the right balance but such differences are confusing (if not frightening) for passengers.
I won’t mention the “pitot-gate” that’s now in the court’s hands and about which we should know more in a few month but a closer issue : the incident of the Qantas QF32 flight. Since then, some airlines operating the A380 with the Trent 900nengines have restarted operations, some made repairations, some changed a couple of engines, one (Qantas) is keeping its A380 fleet grounded.
They all have good reasons to do what they do but we have to admit that passengers could wonder who they should trust, why these differences etc… Are some playing with fire ? Are some too zealous ?
In short, after such incidents, are airlines in a position to decide whether operations could restart or not ? Not because I’m saying some may be more serious than others, but because a decision from an independant organization would make things clearer, more transperant and reassuring for passengers.
Could the solution come from the recent (but optional) FAA program that aims at a more information information sharing by pilots without transiting through the airline ? Incidents identified faster, easier to realized that some of them are not isolated, making it faster to issue a directive out of airlines’ arbitrary nature ? It seems that things would be better if pilots were more listened, more incidents would be immediately dealt without any wait and see policy…and since they themselves are into planes, passengers would have less reasons to think dust is sometimes being hidden under the carpet.
Safety is not something that can be traded for competitiveness or social peace.