AirAsia forced to apologise over magazine claim that 'pilots will never lose a plane'

In-flight magazine told passengers to 'rest assured that your captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost'

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The Independent Online

Southeast Asia's top budget carrier AirAsia has apologised over a controversial advert that promised “the captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost” in its inflight magazine.

The airline was forced to remove the magazine when it sparked outrage following the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Passengers described the claim made in an article, which had been written by a retired pilot, as “distasteful” and “disturbing” after it was circulated across social media.

The 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.”

Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, the AirAsia Executive Chairman and Publisher of the Travel 3Sixty magazine expressed his “deep regret” over the article and said the magazine had gone to print well before flight MH370 went missing on 8 March with 239 people on board.

In a statement, he said: "With deep regret and remorse I would like to sincerely apologise for any offense caused by the Pilot's Perspective article in the latest issue of Travel 3Sixty magazine.

"As a monthly contributor, Capt Lim prepared all of his articles months in advance before the magazine goes to print. Unintentionally and regrettably, the current issue carry an article that discuss about GPS and Radar, which was printed a month before its issue date.

"We are removing the magazine from all of our flights on all AirAsia aircraft immediately. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the recent aviation incident."

Mr Meranun added that he was "truly sorry" the issue had been released at such an "inopportune moment" and said disciplinary action would also be taken against the magazine's editorial staff.

Chinese state media announced today a patrol ship in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has discovered a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz - the standard frequency for a black box recorder.