Thai Airways’ attempt at post-accident damage control

For those of you that haven’t been following the news, over the weekend a Thai Airways A330 flying from Guangzhou to Bangkok skid off the runway upon landing. 14 people were injured, though fortunately there were no fatalities.

What’s rather funny is that Thai Airways attempted to cover up their name and logo on the plane after the crash, as if that’s somehow going to throw people off. Here’s an AP picture (enhanced further by the Thai plane taking off in the background):

AP_Photo

Initially they claimed that covering up the logo and name was part of a “crisis communication rule”  from Star Alliance:

After the accident, workers on a crane blacked out the Thai Airways logo on the tail and body of the aircraft. An airline official said it was part of an effort to protect its image under Star Alliance guidelines. Thai Airways official Smud Poom-On said that “blurring the logo” after an accident was a recommendation from Star Alliance known as the “crisis communication rule,” meant to protect the image of both the airline and other members of Star Alliance.

Though in the meantime the article has been updated to read as follows:

After the accident, workers on a crane blacked out the Thai Airways logo on the tail and body of the aircraft in an apparent effort to protect the airline’s image. An airline official, Samud Poom-On, said the move was normal practice for Thai Airways after an accident.

Samud initially said the practice was mandated by Star Alliance, but later said that was not the case. The global airline grouping also said it had no such policy.

C’mon Thai, it’s your home airport, you’re not fooling anyone! Now the plane just looks like a picture that Perez Hilton drew all over.

(Tip of the hat to Point Me to the Plane)

Comments

  1. Weird. Should’ve at least used matching colors or white. Better yet, why not spray paint the plane white to completely remove the livery 😉

  2. I would assume this varies by country and the investigating authority? I’d imagine NTSB would throw a fit if someone tried this while the crash site was still under investigation.

    The JAL in BOS was grounded and not a crash so I can give it a pass there. The Thai and Alitalia examples are just poor taste and make the airline look worse by showing their priorities.

  3. Nearly everyone on the planet could not identify the plane in the picture as one from Thai airways. Probably only a few flying in and out of BKK could even identify it.

    Smart move.

  4. Jon said,

    “Nearly everyone on the planet could not identify the plane in the picture as one from Thai airways. Probably only a few flying in and out of BKK could even identify it.”

    People who are likely to actually fly Thai will absolutely know that design. It’s about as unique as they come these days. Not to mention that there are plenty of photos of the plane before they could cover anything and that the name will probably appear below the picture anyway.

  5. Indeed people that either fly Thai or have flown international flights will definitely recognize that it’s a Thai branded plane.. that’s what branding is for.. simply trying to undo the name by using a black tape isn’t really helping much. However, I have seen it before when I was on holiday, that they did the same.

    Nonetheless @Lucky I also believe that the reason why they did this is simply because they can. If you look at the Asiana crash at SFO and the Turkish Air crash at AMS… it wasn’t possible to this. Given the fact that either the plane was on fire, or that it was shattered in multiple pieces. Also in terms of investigations NTSB etc probably won’t allow anything like that to happen, cause it may have an effect on the evidence they need to gather for their investigation.

    When you have a look at this Thai a330 it looks more-a-less in tact, so there isn’t much of evidence to clear.

  6. I think there maybe some misunderstanding: if Thai Airways start insurance claim process, this aircraft will belong to insurance company and normally will remove logo right after–plane no longer belong to airline.
    It is not really a cover up but rather a common process.

  7. Thanks for the chuckle by adding “Now the plane just looks like a picture that Perez Hilton drew all over.” 😉

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