Breathe deeply, it is safe to go on a plane, travellers told

Breathe deeply, it is safe to go on a plane, travellers told
Picture of Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport's boarding screens.

PARIS - After three major air disasters in one week, with planes coming down in Ukraine, Taiwan and then Mali without a single survivor, passengers can be forgiven for feeling a little pang of panic boarding their flights.

Waiting to check in at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport on Friday, Thai athlete Thapanat Rueangmanee, 25, admitted to being "a little bit nervous, like most of my friends".

She had come to the French capital for an athletics meetings, and she had no other choice but to fly home. "We can't take the boat," she said.

"Three crashes in one week, that's quite a lot," said Hadjera Akli, 24, who had come to meet her family from Algeria. "But it is just a convergence of circumstances, isn't it?" she said, not entirely convinced.

But on Internet forums people are not quite so calm - fear of flying is rampant.

Yoco, who is flying to Seoul in August, was "rather zen" until now, but she confessed on the French site that with the latest accidents "the panic has returned".

"So there's another confirmation of a plane crash? I'm flying to Chicago tomorrow from Atlanta. Not sure if I can make it," wrote a passenger on "I've done all my 'exercises' but this is putting me over the top... Help!"

"My hands are shaking so much right now it's hard to type," another person admitted on the same forum. "This is four incidents on commercial aircraft in six months - one still missing, one shot down, one crash in bad weather, and now this one. Three this week alone!"

Even Tony Tyler, the director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), was forced to admit on Friday that "after three tragedies in so short a period, a lot of people are questioning air safety.

"But despite what has happened over the last seven days, we can take the plane in safety," he insisted.

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