Channel NewsAsia

SIA says sorry for ‘insensitive’ MH17 post

The post was in response to requests from customers who had asked for information about the airline’s flight routes, an SIA spokesperson said.

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) on Saturday (July 19) apologised for its social media postings following the crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17.

“We are aware that our Facebook and Twitter update on Friday morning may have come across as insensitive to some,” an SIA spokesperson said in reply to queries from Channel NewsAsia. The post was in response to requests from customers who had asked for information about the airline’s flight routes, the spokesperson said in a statement.

“We recognise that the information could have been better communicated and we sincerely apologise if it had offended our customers and anyone else in the online community,” the statement said.

It added that SIA is “deeply saddened” by what happened to flight MH17. “Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew who perished on board.”

Following the MH17 crash, SIA had posted on Facebook and Twitter a single-sentence message which said: “Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace”. It posted another message an hour later, which said: “Our thoughts are with the passengers and crew of MH17 and their families.”

But the first post had attracted a storm of criticism from netizens by then, who called the post “inappropriate” and “opportunistic”.

Facebook user Michael Reit said in a post: “How about at least acknowledging the terrible event and sending condolences to those families and friends involved instead of this cold, classless update?” Another user, Su Sripathy, wrote: “Your posting was just tacky...and inappropriate at a time like this.”

Still, there were some who defended the airline. Facebook user Karishma Sharma wrote: “I don't think their comment was to advertise or boast their flight routes as much as it was to ease the tension of the hundreds of passengers that are scheduled to fly out to other countries over the next few days.” Another user, Jasper Knight, wrote: “The message was sent to allow customers scheduled to fly on SQ peace of mind… Singapore Airlines had no ill intentions in the message.”

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