Singapore Airlines apologises for insensitive social media posts on MH17

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Singapore, July 20: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has apologised for its "insensitive" social media postings following the crash of Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH17 in eastern Ukraine that left 298 people dead.

"We are aware that our Facebook and Twitter update on Friday morning may have come across as insensitive to some," Channel News Asia reported on Saturday citing an SIA spokesperson statement.

The post was in response to requests from customers who had asked for information about the airline's flight routes, the spokesperson said in the statement in reply to queries from the Channel.

"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 Channel said.

The statement 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," it said.

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 barrage of criticism from netizens by then, who called the post "inappropriate" and "opportunistic", according to the Channel report.

The Channel pointed out Facebook user Michael Reit's post: "How about at least acknowledging the terrible event and sending condolences to those families and friends involved instead of this cold, classless update?"

It quoted another post from Su Sripathy: "Your posting was just tacky and inappropriate at a time like this."

Still, there were some who defended the airline on social media, according to the report.

The Channel had Facebook user Karishma Sharma saying: "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."

PTI

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