Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Australian Travelers Abandon MH as Spending on Tickets of Embattled Air Carrier Drops by 1/3; Malaysian Tourism Ministry Holds Visit Malaysia Year 2014 Campaign in China
By Vittorio Hernandez | April 10, 2014 8:12 AM EST
The resumption of pings received by the Australian ship Ocean Shield has provided a ray of hope in the month-long search for the missing Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 jet which mysteriously disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard while on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
Family members (L) of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines flight was carrying 152 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians and seven Australians among the 227 passengers, the airline said on Saturday. There were also three U.S. citizens, three from France, two passengers each from New Zealand, Ukraine, and Canada, and one each from Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Austria, the airline said in a statement. There were also two infants. Twelve crew members were also on the flight. Flight MH 370 operating a Boeing B777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur at 12.21 a.m. (1621 GMT Friday) and had been expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. (2230 GMT) the same day. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER). March 7, 2014
Because of the growing perception and suspicion that Malaysian officials and the airline executive have mishandled the ongoing search and investigation, many travelers have been avoiding the embattled air carrier since then.
This time, it is no longer just anecdotes of air passengers rebooking their flights with other airlines but solid evidence that customers are abandoning Malaysian Airlines. According to a report from Pocketbook (https://getpocketbook.com), an Australian budget management app, based on bank accounts of 20,000 Australians, their March spending on tickets from the Kuala Lumpur-based air carrier drastically dropped by one third on monthly average for the past six months.
Its partner carrier, China Southern Airlines, suffered a 50 per cent cut in Australian spending, while China Easter and Air Asia, which have links to Malaysia and China, also experienced 34 and 20 per cent reductions respectively, reported AAP.
However, overall airline spending of Aussies grew 7 per cent in March with Cathay Pacific enjoying a 48 per cent hike, Virgin Australia 16 per cent and Qantas 10 per cent.
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive of Malaysian Airlines, has admitted the disappearance of the ill-fated Flight 370 has negatively affected its ticket sales, worsening the financial standing of the company that had logged a net loss of $35.4 million in 2013. Its share prices, like the aircraft, had plunged up to 20 per cent since March 8.
But it is not just its flag carrier which is in deep trouble because Malaysia is also suffering from an image problem since the crisis as relatives of the Chinese passengers accuse Malaysian officials of hiding the truth from them.
As a result, Malaysian Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that Kuala Lumpur has suspended its Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign in China until there is solution to the mystery of the missing aircraft.
He said because Chinese are still in a state of shock, it would be improper to bring back the campaign at this time.
Prior to the incident, about 1.6 million Chinese visited Malaysia in 2013 and the minister has admitted that the numbers has gone done since then. Travel agencies, which had 30 to 40 customers monthly for tours to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand disclosed that no one is booking that route anymore.
According to a Bank of America Merrill Lunch note, Chinese visitors comprise 12 per cent of Malaysia's total tourist arrivals and contribute 0.4 per cent to the country's gross domestic product.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Boards London Train in Casual Disguise, Royal Couple’s Incognito Plan A Huge Hit [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s Top Secret Wedding Tramps Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ Reunion & Pregnancy Talks [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Nexus 6 Release Date Update: Moto X+1 Look Leaked, Nexus X or Shamu Moved to Demo Phase
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display
- Leaker of Actresses Nude Photos Accepting PayPal Donations in Exchange For Posting Alleged Sex Video of Jennifer Lawrence, Has Naked Pictures of 100 Hollywood A-Listers