The first half of the year for the aviation industry has been a fairly memorable one; if only for the wrong reasons. As we issue our summer July and August Newsletter yet more aviation disasters with planes from Taiwan and Algeria are leading the fatality numbers to almost 1000.  This comes on the back of several years when deaths globally resulting from accidents in the commercial aviation sector were relatively miniscule and certainly less than the fatalities found annually on Bulgarian roads. Despite this recent run of bad luck, flying is still the safest form of transport and one would suggest infinitely safer than driving down the Trakia motorway on a Friday evening in summer. Cars are not meant to travel at the speed of sound despite numerous drivers challenging the theory.

Malaysian Airlines have taken the brunt of people’s attention thus far this year and it’s more than likely that neither accident was of their own making. That an airline of this stature – they are a significant global player with a sizeable fleet – can lose not one but two large planes in such mystifying circumstances beggars belief. The chances of such would be akin to winning a European lottery twice in a row where millions play the same game. If logic is turned on its head then also think about the family that had relatives on both the Malaysian planes that went down and also the chances of that happening!

If the odds of such events are millions to one, then the odds of a stray rocket hitting a Tel Aviv bound flight are probably significantly less than this. That the American Authorities banned their own flights operating to Tel Aviv comes after they did the same with flights over the Ukraine, a move European Airlines did not follow. On this occasion many European Airline also stopped flying to Tel Aviv; at least temporarily. Both the USA and the European air safety bodies have now lifted their recommendation, Europe following the USA’s move,   though this should not have come as a big surprise considering Israel’s influence in North America. Europe’s body noticeably refrained from saying that it was safe to fly in the area, instead saying each airline can make their own decision. The distance from hostilities in the Gaza to Tel Aviv’s main airport is about the same as from half way to Plovdiv. If you were taking off in a plane at Sofia and you knew rockets were possibly being fired 30 mins drive away, might you just be tad worried based on recent experiences? We are, so we are told, that any such threats will be dealt with by the safety mechanisms around Tel Aviv Airport; which is probably true, though the free entertainment might not be for those with a fear of flying or those of a nervous disposition.

However, terrorism should never stop the travel industry and whatever the challenges there are, top marks to those who don’t let such threats grind the world to a halt.


Mark Thomas

Managing Director

HRG Bulgaria