Can Malaysia Airlines salvage its brand after MH370 and MH17 tragedies?

Can Malaysia Airlines salvage its brand after MH370 and MH17 tragedies?

Malaysia Airlines in Major Image Crisis Following Two Downed Flights
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Following two tragic flights lost since this spring, Malaysian Airlines is suffering from an image crisis that would bring a top notch highly respected airline to its knees. The trouble for Malaysian Airlines is that the company was already in financial distress. As typical of many state owned industries, the steady influx of taxpayer funded support creates a complacency which stifles innovation. Tragedy first struck the embattled airline in March when flight MH370 inexplicably veered off course and seeming flew off into the Indian Ocean where it is believed to have crashed. The international effort to locate the flight has failed. 239 passengers were aboard that flight.

Now, Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists are believed to behind the downing of flight MH17 which killed all 293 passengers aboard. The damage is done as travelers are eschewing the airline like the plague. It is expected that the government will prop up the airline for the short-term, but if they are unable to salvage their image and attract a steady stream of fliers, the airline will turn into a money pit for the government.

One airline industry expert noted that Malaysian Airlines is itself in uncharted territory. No airline has faced such troubling tragedies in a short period of time. He pointed out that prior to the disappearance of flight MH370, Malaysian Airlines was hemorrhaging $1.6 million daily. Many Chinese citizens disappeared aboard that flight causing the airline to lose customers in one of its most financially lucrative markets. The airline had no credible “intel” on the whereabouts of the flight which the Chinese public interpreted as indifference and incompetence.

Related: What is a Buk missile that reportedly shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine

Related: Russian President Vladimir Putins response to MH17 crash could it spark war

Related: Malaysia Airlines Crash Video Shows Plane Being Hit By Missile (VIDEO)
While no one is blaming the airline for the recent tragedy, it should be noted that other airlines made the decision to avoid the battle zone as a safety precaution. It was a costly decision which increased ticket prices, cut into profits, and increased travel time. Now, those airlines are seen as wise once again leaving Malaysian Airlines exposed to further scrutiny.

Who Was On Board?

Of the 295 passengers, 154 have been identified as Dutch. There were also 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, six British, four Germans, four Belgians, three Fillipinos and one Canadian citizen. Forty-seven other casualities have not yet been identified.

  • 154 Dutch passengers.
  • 27 from Australia.
  • 23 from Malaysia.
  • 11 Indonesians.
  • Six from the United Kingdom.
  • Four from Germany.
  • Four from Belgium.
  • Three from the Philippines.

The crash of Flight 17 comes on the 18th anniversary of TWA Flight 800, which crashed into Long Island Sound shortly after takeoff on July 17, 1996.

Photos of Deadly Crash Emerge

Photos reportedly showing the crash site — even some of bodies scattered on a field — began appearing on Twitter close to an hour after initial reports of the incident.

Here’s one from Russia Today:

Can Malaysia Airlines salvage its brand after MH370 and MH17 tragedies?

Karen is a Toronto based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2011, covering many topics including politics and world issues. Prior to her work writing and editing for eCanadaNow, she worked as a freelance journalist. You can email Karen at [Karene at]