No Survivors From Lao Airlines Crash Near Pakse

This ATR-72-500 aircraft operated by Lao Airlines rests on the tarmac at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, which was the departure airport for the ATR-72-600 aircraft involved in the crash earlier today. Photograph copyright by Mattun0211 and used with permission as posted on Wikipedia. Click on the photograph for the official Internet web site of Lao Airlines.

An ATR-72-600 operating as Lao Airlines flight 301 which departed from Wattay International Airport in Vientiane was on final approach to the airport in Pakse — the third most populous city in Laos — when it crashed into the Mekong River earlier today, killing all 49 people aboard the aircraft.

None of the 44 passengers and five flight crew members from nine countries survived the crash, the cause of which is considered to be “extremely bad weather conditions”, according to an article in the Bangkok Post. The crash occurred at approximately 4:00 in the afternoon local time earlier today at Don Khong, which is an island located approximately nine kilometers northwest of Pakse International Airport.

The airplane was one of a total of 14 aircraft in the entire Lao Airlines fleet.

When considering an airfare difference of almost half from Chiang Mai to Luang Prebang when compared to Bangkok Airways, FlyerTalk member Susan4 was concerned about the safety record of Lao Airlines back in July of 2010. Experiences of FlyerTalk members as passengers of — as well as commentary pertaining to — Lao Airlines can be found in the following discussions:

 

An announcement by the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport stated that its findings pertaining to the crash will be disclosed on Thursday.

Comments (Showing 4 of 4)

  • 98103 at 1:43pm October 17, 2013

    Most of those discussions are 5+ years old, and you dredged up a question from 3 years ago to raise the eyebrow about safety? Would you have done the same thing if this had been for a European or another carrier that many FT memhers have flown?

    • Brian Cohen at 7:11pm October 17, 2013

      If you read that discussion in question, 98103, you would find that the safety record of Lao Airlines had already improved significantly by then in response to the concerns of FlyerTalk member Susan4.
      The main purpose of The Gate is to highlight discussions posted on FlyerTalk. Sometimes that entails posting links to discussions as a form of a retrospective from the viewpoints of FlyerTalk members when it pertains to an airline which is not well known.

  • PaulRO at 3:41pm October 17, 2013

    You write
    “With an airfare difference of almost half from Chiang Mai to Luang Prebang when compared to Bangkok Airways, FlyerTalk member Susan4 was concerned about the safety record …”

    I am sharing this statement with editorial boards online.
    I am sure, or can I be, that you don’t mean that Susan4 has an airfare difference, but that is what you write.

  • londonbus at 3:21pm October 27, 2013

    Travelled Lao Air in 2011, LPQ-HAN.

    Modern aircraft, well flown. I got the impression Lao was a safe airline.

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