To say 2014 was an unfortunate year for Malaysia Airlines would be a massive understatement. Like a twisted game of snakes and ladders, the airline made steps to recover from the loss of 239 passengers on flight MH370, only to be knocked by a second tragedy in July in the Ukraine, resulting in a further loss of 298 passengers.
This massive blow left many to ask: “How can it possibly come back from this?” Well, it is certainly trying.
The airline’s latest effort to woo back a wary New Zealand and Australian public comes with its use of foodie, author, artist and television presenter Poh Ling Yeow.
The campaign follows Poh on a journey via Malaysia Airline’s A330-300 jet from Australia to her birthplace, Kuala Lumpur, through a five-part video series that documents her taking to the streets, exploring the sites and showcasing various Malaysian cuisines.
The episodes were produced by Radical Orange production company.
Some might say this year’s campaign is a lot more tasteful (excuse the pun) than September 2014’s questionable ‘My Ultimate Bucket List Campaign’, a bucket list typically being a list of destinations to visit or things to do before dying.
New Zealand and Australian customers booking tickets were asked to explain what and where they would like to tick off their bucket list to win iPads or plane tickets.
It didn’t take long for a consciousness of the morbid association between the twin tragedies and the inference behind the term ‘bucket list’ to sweep across a hyper-aware public, resulting in the campaign’s name quickly being withdrawn.
The incidents also led to the airline’s worst quarterly loss, with passenger numbers dropping 14 percent from the year previous.
A new brand and name was mooted as a way to get back in the good books, but thus far it has retained its existing brand. However, it announced last August that the airline will attempt to redeem its tarnished name by undergoing a dramatic restructure, which will see the airline cut 6,000 workers.
The airline will come under the management of a new company as part of the $1.8 billion overhaul.
Malaysia Airlines pointed out that it received 5 out of 7 stars for safety and didn’t appear on the ‘least safest’ airline list that was compiled at the same time (it wasn't good enough to make the top ten, however). And, according to New York Daily News, Airline Ratings "does not consider fatal accidents if the airline was a victim of an act of terrorism or if the airline suffered a fatal accident through no fault of its own. The Malaysia Airlines tragedies would be an example."