Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Singapore Airlines says sorry for social media posts

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Update 5 Aug 2014: Singapore Airlines plane was minutes away when MH17 shot

A SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) plane was just minutes away when Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky in eastern Ukraine, Singapore’s government says

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told parliament that Flight SQ351, which was headed to Singapore from Copenhagen, was just 90 kilometres from the Malaysian plane — a distance covered within minutes by passenger jets.

All 298 people on-board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were killed when it was shot down in rebel-held territory on July 17.

“At the time of the downing of MH17, flight SQ351 from Copenhagen was estimated to be approximately 90 kilometres away,” Lui said, responding to questions from MPs.

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SIA apologises for social media update on MH17

Singapore’s National carrier Singapore Airlines has apologised for a post that it published on its Facebook page which read “Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace.”

Currently the status has received over 1,200 shares and over 9,000 likes.

In a statement to Marketing, an SIA spokesperson said the post was in response to many requests from its customers who had asked for information about flight routes for their upcoming flights with the carrier.
“We are aware of that our Facebook and Twitter update on Friday morning may have come across as insensitive to some [...] 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,” said the spokesperson.
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Singapore Airlines slammed for insensitive social media comments
An A380 aeroplane from Singapore airlines

SINGAPORE Airlines has apologised over “ insensitive and offensive” social media comments it posted following the Malaysian Airlines MH17 disaster.

The airline claimed that its flights do not fly across Ukrainian airspace following the tragedy which killed 298 people. The remarks drew the ire of many Malaysians, with some taking to social media themselves to condemn the airline.

And despite apologising for the comments, the offensive post still remains on Singapore Airline’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Singapore Airlines apologises for insensitive Facebook posts after MH17 shot down
Singapore Airlines has apologised for "insensitive' posts on social media. Photo: Craig Abraham

After getting a drubbing on social media for making statements deemed "insensitive" after the downing of flight MH17, Singapore Airlines (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, the airline's Facebook and Twitter updates said its own flights were not using Ukraine airspace.

That triggered a flood of angry responses, with many lambasting the airline 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 flagship airline.


Use of Ukrainian airspace: SIA replies

Singapore Airlines is deeply saddened by what happened to Flight MH17. Our thoughts are with the passengers and crew, and their families. We share the outrage of the public and the entire aviation industry.

Decisions on the use of airspace are made based on numerous factors, such as weather, safety and security conditions, advisories from international and regional bodies, and any restrictions that may be imposed by the national authorities responsible for the safety of the airspace.

In the case of Ukraine, the particular airspace that MH17 used was cleared by the national authority managing it.


Stop Flying Over Ukraine

As the tragedy of MH17 unfolds, the world is now treated to accusations on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict. Both sides in Ukraine's civil war are accusing each other of shooting down the plane with a missile.

One thing is clear however; airlines are STILL flying over Ukraine. Honestly, when I first heard the plane went down I wondered why the hell was the plane even flying in the area. Everyone knows the Ukraine is in the midst of a civil war so why was a plane carrying civilian passengers in the middle of a hot warzone.

Later I read that the route MH17 was on was a common one and that many airlines fly over the area. This is because the route is the shortest route from Europe to Southeast Asia and everyone uses it to save cost. The Sydney Morning Herald even reported that immediately after MH17's crash, four other airliners followed the exact same route and none of them re-route. These four were from Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Kazakhstan Airlines and Etihad.

related: Another Crash


SIA didn't fully address concerns

SINGAPORE Airlines' reply ("Use of Ukrainian airspace: SIA replies"; yesterday) does not fully address the concerns of Singaporeans and those who fly regularly with our national carrier.

What they really want to know is why SIA did not re-route its flights after the conflict in Ukraine broke out, while some other airlines did so.

SQ351 was very close to MH17 at the moment the latter was shot down ("SIA flight 'over Ukraine about the same time' "; last Saturday). Only after the horrendous incident did SIA re-route its flights


Singapore Airlines apologises for social media remarks it posted after tragedy
Obstructive: Pro-Russian separatists have blocked international monitors at the crash site

Hours after Flight MH17 was shot down on Thursday SIA posted Facebook and Twitter updates saying its own flights were not using Ukrainian airspace

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 flights, however.
"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."
related: Malaysia Airlines crash updates as anger grew over "disrespectful" treatment of bodies by rebels


Putin must stop supporting Ukraine rebels, says Cameron

Russian president Vladimir Putin must immediately stop supporting pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists and help recover the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy or face tougher sanctions, Britain will demand today.

However, the shape of any proposed sanctions is unclear, with Downing Street acknowledging it has only agreement to discuss the changes with Paris and Berlin, in advance of today’s EU meeting of foreign ministers.

The British are proposing the introduction of so-called “Tier 3” sanctions, which would block Russian companies from selling oil or gas, or carrying out financial trading – effectively cutting Russia off from EU markets industry by industry. The argument being made by London is that the EU has been too slow and weak to stand up to Mr Putin since the Ukrainian crisis began, thus increasing his appetite.


UN approves resolution calling for probe
July 20, 2014: Ukrainian Emergency workers carry a stretcher with a victim's body in a bag as pro-Russian fighters stand in guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine.AP

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Monday demanding international access to the site of the plane downed over eastern Ukraine and an end to military activities around the area, following intense pressure on a reluctant Russia to support the measure.

The resolution calls for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 carrying 298 people in Hrabove. It calls for pro-Russia separatists to allow access to the site of the crash. And it demands that armed groups who control the crash site do not disturb debris, belongings or victims' remains.

All 15 council members voted in favor of the Australia-proposed measure in a televised meeting



MH17 plane crash: The intelligence trail examined

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution demanding access to the crash site of a passenger plane downed over a rebel-held area in Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists earlier allowed bodies from the Malaysia Airlines crash to be taken to the city of Kharkiv and handed over to international experts.

Western nations say the rebels struck MH17 with a Russian-supplied missile, killing all 298 people on board.

related:

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SIA has apologised over “ insensitive and offensive” social media comments

"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 Singapore Airlines 75 times. The flight-tracking service also published an image showing a Singapore Airlines flight from Copenhagen to Singapore was about 25 kilometres from MH17 when the Malaysian jet was brought down.

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SIA must explain use of 'danger' route

THE crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 is a terrible tragedy with international repercussions yet to be fully played out. Our hearts go out to the 298 victims and their families.

I am disturbed that despite clear evidence that Ukrainian transport planes travelling at altitude had been shot down by rebel forces in this region of Ukraine, some international airlines continued to use this route.

A radar map widely circulated on the Internet showed SQ351 within 25km of the downed MH17 - just two minutes' flight time from disaster.

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Netizens Bash SIA Site Over Insensitive Statement

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) social media site has been bombarded by angry netizens over its insensitive remarks hours after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy took place on Thursday night.

n Friday, the airline in its Facebook and Twitter pages posted “Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace”.

The post had garnered angry responses from its customers, bashing the airline for being insensitive towards the people involved in the tragedy

It is believed the airline had published the statement in response to customers query on whether the airline used the same route as MH17.

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