The paper "Malaysian Airlines Crisis Management" is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. On March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 scheduled to carry passengers from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing Capital International Airport mysteriously disappeared after less than an hour after takeoff. Its whereabouts months later is still unknown since the debris spotted in the Indian Ocean seabed recently according to Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai are still need to verify if they really belong to missing MH370. Airline companies like Malaysian Airlines are vulnerable to the devastating effect of air accidents including missing flights, particularly on brand reputation.
For instance, Asiana Airlines was ranked one of the world’ s best airline but the recent crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 where it killed two people severely damaged its reputation. Similarly, the sudden disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 according to can severely affect the reputation of the Malaysian Airlines brand, particularly when it failed to manage the crisis properly. The following sections discuss some background information about the MH370 incident, the crisis communication strategy implemented by MAS, its attempts to overcome the damage caused by the incident to the company and potential strategies and tactics that it can employ to rebuild its brand. Background Information Malaysian Airlines Crisis Management The sudden disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 from the radar screens without any distress signal and in calm weather last March 8, 2014, bewildered investigators.
Similarly, the Malaysian Airlines crisis management implementation after the incident according to is even more confusing. For instance, it took Malaysian Airlines five hours to make an announcement about the missing flight MH370. Malaysian Airlines personnel brought about 500 anxious relatives to a hotel without providing any information and held a news conference 13 hours after the incident.
The reason for the poor, slow, confusing crisis communication response was clearly stated by the Malaysian Prime Minister a few days after the incident when he admitted that their priority is not communicating with relatives but finding the aircraft. However, despite some delays, Malaysian Airlines managed to provide journalists, passenger relatives, and the public with information (new releases, passengers register, contact details, and others) about the incident through a one-stop resource center.
The airline company also managed to use social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc) to communicate and provide updates. Moreover, since the disappearance of flight MH370 is a sensitive issue, Malaysia Airlines suspended its marketing and promotion activities. Aircraft accidents according to are so rare that only a handful of airline managers possess the knowledge and capable of dealing with such occurrences. Crisis management in airline often includes communication, establishing the cause of the incident, managing fatalities, and their relatives, and feeding the media with information. Immediately after the incident, the concern organization must implement its communication plan along with the technical aspect of crisis management.
For this reason, communication according to should not be given low priority as Malaysian Airlines did during the first few days of the incident. This is because excellent communication can protect and enhance company reputation thus the absence of communication during a crisis will likely damage an organization’ s reputation.
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