Asiana Airlines, the South Korean carrier whose Boeing 777 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, has responded in a timely and open manner to the accident, according to communications experts.
The airline has issued an official statement on its website, and Asiana CEO Yin Yong Doo apologized at a press conference, adding that results of the investigation into the crash, which will take a “considerable amount of time,” will be announced later.
“Asiana responded in a timely manner,” said Jonathan Hughes, international president at GolinHarris. “The airline has done everything it can so far, and its response is transparent, along with the CEO's genuine apology, which is essential and important.”
An anonymous source agreed that in such cases, the only thing an airline can do is to respond with the facts, and Asiana has done so. She suggested the airline should continue regular updates, especially as reports show that the pilot may be held responsible for the crash.
Because a failure to respond, communicate, and address questions can lead to more serious issues, she also suggested Asiana needs to keep updates on both its website and social media channels. The reason: it's important that stakeholders receive a steady stream of information.
However, Hughes pointed out that airline should be cautious about social media.
“It could be risky to engage any social conversation right now, because people don't know the facts,” he said. “It's best that the airline directs any social media users to the official website, where it has the company statement and all the facts.”
The landing accident has resulted in two deaths, so the reputational risk in terms of passengers and families could be considerably smaller compared with an incident with a higher number of deaths.
However, according to the anonymous source, it's important to reflect the findings of what happened as quickly as possible, while conveying that changes in administration, such as flight training for pilots, should also take place.
“Keeping the response open, transparent, and cooperative, accepting the facts, and learning from them, will help the brand to recover from this accident,” Hughes concluded.
This story originally appeared on the website of Campaign Asia-Pacific.