It's been two days since a Malaysia Airlines flight with 227 passengers and 12 crew members has been lost, and relatives are angry. The flight is now assumed to have crashed, with some signs of wreckage. But the real fallout now is the airline's lack of communication.
Quotations in a Reuters article show family members' distress:
"There's no one from the company here; we can't find a single person. They've just shut us in this room and told us to wait."
"We want someone to show their face. They haven't even given us the passenger list."
"They're treating us worse than dogs."
On its website, the company revealed its "dark site," a page that companies create in anticipation of a crisis. Oddly, the airline kept the name in the URL, shown here.
The page gave information about what happened and what actions the airline is taking currently:
Monday, March 10, 05:30 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - 10th Media Statement
The purpose of this statement is to update on emergency response activities at Malaysia Airlines.
On notification of the incident the following steps have been taken:-
1. Activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the early morning of 8 March 2014. The EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management functions at the strategic level during a disaster.
2. In addition to the EOC, various departments of Malaysia Airlines are also addressing to all the different needs during this crisis.
1. Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia, as well as with the immigration of Malaysia on the issuance of their visas into Malaysia.
2. Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on 11 March 2014.
3. When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established within the vicinity to support the needs of the families. This has been communicated specifically to the families.
4. Once the Response Coordination Centre is operational, we will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.
5. Our oneworld partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.
Search and Rescue
1. Malaysia Airlines has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport
2. DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.
We also want to address a few common queries from the media.
We are receiving many queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets. We are unable to comment on this matter as this is a security issue. We can however confirm that we have given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.
We also confirm that we are making necessary arrangements for MH370 passengers' families from Beijing to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, flight details of the families’ arrival are highly confidential. This is to protect the privacy and well-being of the families during this difficult time and to respect their space. Our position is not to reveal any information on the flight or movements of the families.
Malaysia Airlines' primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines.
All other Malaysia Airlines’ flights are as per schedule. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been and will continue to be of utmost importance to us.
The airline continues to work with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international parties and agencies during this critical and difficult time.
Malaysia Airlines reiterates that it will continue to be transparent in communicating with the general public via the media on all matters affecting MH370.
- Assess Malaysia Airlines' statement. What works well, and what could be improved?
- What's missing from the statement that you might see in similar posts about a tragedy? What could account for this omission? Timing? Culture? Language? Something else?