Malaysia Airline tragedies turn travelers off
from SAVIOUS KWINIKA, MASAHUDU KUNATEH, ANTONY LANGAT, MERCY MUJURU, AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE & OKORO CHINEDU
JOHANNESBURG – THE recent tragedies suffered by the Malaysian Airlines are scaring off air travelers from using the services of the company.
On March 8, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 227 passengers.
The Boeing 777 had left Kuala Lumpur at 00.41 for Beijing Airport, but lost contact with air traffic controllers at around 01.22am as it crossed the South China Sea.
Frantic search efforts have yielded nothing.
Last week, flight MH17 carrying 298 people was reduced to rubbles when shot by suspected Ukraine rebel separatists while travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at about 10, 000 metres when the missile hit.
In a snap survey conducted by CAJ News Africa across the continent, air travelers expressed fear at flying Air Malaysia.
“The name Malaysian Airlines scares me down to the spine! Even if I’m offered free ride I will not risk my precious life,” Ayanda Masungwini, a South African national told CAJ News Africa.
Echoing same sentiments, another South African national, Mlungisi Mkhize of Durban said, “While I appreciate the accidents that befell Malaysian Airlines were not their own making, but acts of criminality and banditry, I would not attempt traveling in their planes. Life is not guaranteed on Malaysian Airlines.”
CAJ News Kenya Bureau, Anthony Langat, established nationals from his east African nation were now afraid to fly on Malaysian Airlines following the recent incidents.
Peter Kirui, An Accountant at African Inland Church headquarters in Nairobi, said security safety on Malaysians Airlines could be “compromised” any moment.
“I am afraid of flying Malaysian Airlines, it seems to have a knack for disappearing in the air and getting shot at,” he said.
Another Kenyan professional, Mike Kimani, an IT consultant, said it was unsafe traveling in Malaysian Airlines.
“With two fatal accidents in a month, I wouldn’t fly in it,” he insisted.
In Ghana, as our Bureau Chief Masahudu Kunateh, established, there are similar fears.
Ghana journalist, William Beeko, said Malaysian Airlines were “associated with bad luck.”
“I will never travel in a Malaysian Airline plane! Not in a lifetime! The Malaysians Airlines are tragic memories that will forever be etched in our minds,” he said.
A senior official at Gold Fields Ghana Limited, Abdul-Moomin Gbana was cynical.
“Personally, I will be very skeptical on the choice of the Malaysian Airline when next time am traveling until some quality assurance / control measures are reinforced. Like every traveler the Malaysian aviation industry would be approached with some skepticism.
“It is therefore time for the Malaysian aviation industry to aggressively reinvigorate and sustain confidence in their industry or suffer the serious consequences of boycotts,” Gbana said.
Kwabena Boateng, a traditionalist said the prospect of flying Malaysian Airlines no longer crossed his mind.
“Let death befall on me than risking flying on Malaysian Airlines,” Gbana said.
However, others empathised with Malaysia Airlines.
In Lagos, Okoro Chinedu interviewed Mustapha Khan-Okwonko, who said what befell the Malaysian Airlines was “just unfortunate” situation.
“The disaster that befell Malaysian Airlines can happen to anybody! I believe from now onward, the Malaysian Airlines must advertise aggressively online in order to recapture its lost customer base and cleanse its soiled name, otherwise the future is bleak for them.
“I sympathyse with their situation, but they have to start working hard, including the pumping out cash on advertising, otherwise business will run dry for them,” Okwonko said.
In the capital Abuja, Katabs Jonah, a former labour leader, told ur Abuja Bureau Chief Augustine Osayande that the recent Malaysian Airline tragedy was a “mistake.”
Instead, Jonah called for the United Nations to take action against the “perpetrators” of the shooting instead of blaming the airline.
“My take on this issue is that the world shouldn’t shy away from passing a verdict on Putin (Russian president) and the separatists,” Jonah said.
In Harare, Zimbabwe, Mercy Mujuru, our Harare correspondent reports that Zimbabweans condemned both the shooting of Malaysian Airlines as well as the glaring massacre of Palestinian civilians by Isreali while the so-called superpowers were watching.
“The world we are living in today is Satanic! But the biggest devil of them all in this world is the US and those that commit atrocities, unleashing unprovoked wars across the entire world against mineral rich nations while terrorism is equally bad,” said Munashe Muushe.
– CAJ News
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