AirAsia inflight magazine withdrawn, apologises for article

KULA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s popular budget airline AirAsia today withdrew its latest inflight magazine, expressing “deep regret” for an article boasting that its well-trained pilots would never lose a plane.
The comments, that came following the March 8 crisis when a Beijing-bound Malaysian Airlines plane mysteriously disappeared after taking-off from here with 239 people on board, have made them particularly sensitive.
AirAsia executive chairman Kamarudin Meranun expressed “deep regret and remorse,” saying the latest issue of “travel 3Sixty” magazine was printed before MH370 incident.
He said the article appearing as an aviation column was prepared well in advance by a retired pilot, who had worked for both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.
“This is a truly difficult time for the nation and words cannot describe how I personally feel of this incident,” Kamarudin said in a statement.
“It truly saddens me that this article was released at such an inopportune moment. Again, I repeatedly offer my sincere apologies for any discomfort this may have caused.”
The lines in the article – “Pilot training in AirAsia is continuous and very thorough. Rest assured that your captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost.” – drew the ire of people who took to social media to protest.
AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes also apologised.      —PTI