SINGAPORE, July 19 After getting a drubbing on
social media for making statements deemed "insensitive" after
the downing of flight MH17, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) issued
a public apology on Saturday and expressed solidarity with
families affected by the air tragedy.
Hours after the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was
shot down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing 298 people,
SIA's Facebook and Twitter updates said its own
flights were not using Ukraine airspace.
That triggered a flood of angry responses, with many
lambasting SIA for not offering condolences to the victims'
families and for mounting what some perceived as a publicity
stunt during a crisis involving its neighbouring country's
"You better come up with a more considerate, diplomatic and
a more sensitive status before you lose customers," said a post
by Edwin Lim on SIA's Facebook page. "Very, very inappropriate
and disappointing status."
SIA, Singapore's best known brand, later also clarified that
its flights had been re-routed to alternative paths that were
away from Ukrainian airspace after the shooting of MH17.
In a statement on Saturday, a spokesman from SIA said, "We
are aware of that our Facebook and Twitter update on Friday
morning may have come across as insensitive to some." The
statement added that SIA had received many requests from
customers seeking information about routes for their upcoming
"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."
According to Flightradar24, an online flight-tracking
service, 66 other carriers flew hundreds of times in the area
where MH17 was shot down in the last week. Malaysia flew there
48 times and SIA 75 times. The flight-tracking service also
published an image showing an SIA flight from Copenhagen to
Singapore was about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from MH17 when the
Malaysian jet was brought down.
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Tom Brown)