Eerst smakeloos, nu pijnlijk: het opscheppen van AirAsia

Foto AP

Opscheppen dat jouw piloten nooit een vliegtuig verliezen, is al vrij smakeloos als er net een ander vliegtuig - MH370 - van de radar is verdwenen. AirAsia deed het in een artikel in zijn eigen in-flightmagazine in april. De luchtvaartmaatschappij haalde het magazine snel daarna terug. Extra pijnlijk nu AirAsia’s toestel QZ8501 is verdwenen.

Twitter avatar AP The Associated Press Inflight magazine article by AirAsia stating that it would never lose a plane sparks anger on social media: http://t.co/RoBcI4jpdQ

AirAsia’s in-flight magazine bragging about its pilots’ superior training, which appeared shortly after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in March, is looking especially tasteless in light of the airline’s own recent tragedy.

The airline pulled the magazine and apologized after an AirAsia passenger posted a photograph of the article on Twitter earlier this year.

The article talked up AirAsia’s thorough pilot training and assured passengers that their pilot “is well prepared to ensure [their] plane will never get lost.”

On Sunday, an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people disappeared en route to Singapore. AirAsia is a budget airline that is also based in Malaysia.

After AirAsia’s article seeming to mock the Malaysia tragedy appeared in its “travel 3Sixty” magazine, the airline’s executive chairman Kamarudin Meranun apologized and insisted that the issue was printed before MH370 disappeared. The Malaysia Airlines plane was carrying 239 people and has never been found.

The comments about AirAsia’s pilots never losing planes appeared in a monthly column written by a retired pilot who has worked for AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines, the Associated Press reported Meranun said at the time.

AirAsia’s flight QZ8501 is thought to have crashed. Search teams have spotted suspicious objects and oil slicks within the search field for the missing plane. It’s not yet clear what the objects seen in the water are, and officials have not said whether it’s wreckage from the plane.

The plane went missing during a flight from Indonesia to Singapore shortly after asking to deviate from its planned flight path because of bad weather.

The flight crew lost contact with air traffic control at about 6:17 a.m. on Sunday, about halfway through the flight.

155 Indonesians are on board the plane, along with three people from South Korea, and one from Singapare, Britain, Malaysia, and France. Of those passengers, 16 are children and one is an infant.

The AirAsia plane disappearance comes after two other major aviation disasters this year. Flight MH370 still hasn’t been found and is thought to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, and in July, another Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down while it was flying over Ukraine.