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AirAsia withdraws article about pilots never losing planes

April 7, 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Southeast Asia's top budget carrier AirAsia on Saturday withdrew its latest inflight magazine and apologized for an offending article boasting that its well-trained pilots would never lose a plane.


April 7, 2014
By The Associated Press

AirAsia Executive Chairman Kamarudin Meranun
expressed "deep regret and remorse," saying the latest issue of "travel
3Sixty" magazine was printed before the Malaysia Airlines plane carrying
239 people disappeared March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing.

 

Kamarudin said the article was a monthly aviation column
prepared well in advance by a retired pilot, who had worked for both
AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.

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"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 article sparked anger on social media after an AirAsia passenger posted a photograph of the text on Twitter late Friday.

 

The last paragraph read: "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."

 

AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes also echoed the apology.

 

"As soon as we were informed on Twitter, we
withdrew. Once again, apologies. It has been a difficult time for all in
the industry," he tweeted.

 

Kamarudin said disciplinary action would be taken against the magazine's editorial team.

 

The fate of the Malaysian airline
remained a mystery nearly a month after it vanished. A multinational
search team is racing against time to find the flight recorders in the
Indian Ocean where it was believed to have crashed. No floating wreckage
has been found in the water so far.

 

It wasn't the first faux pas for AirAsia.

 

On the day the plane went missing, Fernandes
said on Twitter that the aircraft's radio had failed and that all were
safe, but later deleted the tweet.