Comparing Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia’s crisis responses

In the aftermath of the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the airline is doing textbook crisis communications, unlike its peers at Malaysia Airlines.

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Next time you’re looking for a case study in crisis communications, think of 2014 and two airlines with very different approaches.

Malaysia Airlines suffered two separate disasters over the course of the year. Flight 370 disappeared in March and Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine in July. Then an AirAsia flight from Indonesia crashed in late December due to poor weather conditions. AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines took two very different approaches in the days after these disasters, and Malaysia Airlines in particular didn’t exactly help its cause in the months following.

The Malaysia Airlines response showed “a lack of urgency in the initial hours, transparency in releasing information and coordination on where to search, according to AdAge. Meanwhile, is praising AirAsia, saying its “initial response to the tragedy is a textbook example of how to communicate in a crisis.”

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