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Air Disasters And Corruption

A man who lost his wife, daughter, and sister-in-law in the June 3 crash of a flight from Lagos to India blamed Nigeria’s ‘unbridled corruption’ for the crash. Safety regulations are ignored, he said, maintenance isn’t performed, and officials turn a blind eye.

Is air safety linked to corruption? From 1992 to 2011, the airlines with the worst safety records came from Kenya, Cuba, Iran, China, and Russia. Their average rank on the corruption perceptions index is 110 out of 182. Individually they rank: Cuba 61, China 75, Iran 120, Russia 143, and Kenya 154.

The man in Nigeria (cpi rank 143) who lost most of his family in the June crash said: ‘All kinds of commentaries have been written and all shades of reasons have been adduced for the Dana crash. I have read stories that the black box had been recovered and taken abroad for analysis. If my wife were to be here, she would tell you that there’s only one reason that the black box would give for the crash and it is corruption.’

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1 Comment

  1. According to the given source (, from 1992 to 2011, China Airlines is one of the airlines with the worst safety records, having an accident rate of 1127% above the average. It is however noted that China Airlines (in Chinese 中華航空) is an airline based in Taiwan, not in mainland China. As such, the suggested correlation between the air safety and the level of corruption might be affected.

    Ken Chan from Beijing Orient Business Investigation Co Ltd

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