SMH Garuda story avoids naming its own dead and injured
For a disgraceful example of commercial imperatives at work, go to this morning’s story about Garuda in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Can we be clear about this.
Garuda has done a commendable job in configuring a truly comfortable Airbus A330-200 with only 222 seats and shaded many of its competitors with drastically improved service standards.
But the story glosses over that fact that this airline has been a massive killer of people for decades, and its past should remain up there in big flashing neon lights until at least several decades of exemplary behaviour have been demonstrated, rather than rehabilitated by a so called opinion poll for one of the most offensive displays of poor airmanship and flight safety standards seen in airline service.
The fact that one Fairfax journalist was killed in its most recent crash and another severely injured has been swept aside.
The report doesn’t even acknowledge by name the Australian Financial Review reporter, Morgan Melish, who was trapped by the legs and burned alive in the 737 crash at Yogyakarta in March 2007, nor Cynthia Banham, who was seriously injured nor the other Australian and Indonesian fatalities aboard the aircraft.
For the full circus of PR whitewashing to be applied to this airline, despite it putting in nice seats and good cabin crews, and then get deferential, let’s forget our dead and injured treatment by the Fairfax press, is nauseating.
How desperate is that company for ad revenue if it tramples over the recent past and the memory of its own employees, in such a manner.
The real story, told in simple English, should have been that Garuda burned one of our best to death, and mutilated another of our best, through its incompetent oversight of air safety standards, but hey, it’s now got nice cabins and Roy Morgan says Australian’s have voted it best in the world.
That’s the real story. That way Fairfax readers can come to their own conclusions about Garuda, and Roy Morgan.
This is part of Plane Talking’s earlier report on the Garuda rehabilitation.
Allow me to express my disbelief and disgust at Roy Morgan announcing that Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier, has been recognised as ‘Best International Airline for January 2012’ according to a recent independent survey of major airlines across the world.
Garuda killed one of my colleagues, Morgan Mellish, the Jakarta correspondent of the Australian Financial Review, on 7 March 2007, when he was burned alive inside one of its Boeing 737s in a crash at Yogyakarta, one of five Australians to die at the hand of an incompetent and negligent pilot whose presence at the controls reflects on the pathetic flight safety standards of the carrier at the time.
The other Australians who died were the diplomat Liz O’Neill, an AusAid official, Allison Sudrajat, and Australian Federal Police officers Mark Scott and Brice Steele.
A Sydney Morning Herald journalist Cynthia Banham was badly injured in the crash. Another 16 people, including one crew member, perished in the disaster.
The evidence presented at the trial and conviction on manslaughter charges of the captain, Marwoto Komar, in 2009, heard that he ignored 15 audible cockpit alarms before touching down on the runway at twice the normal speed without the wings having even been configured for a landing.
His ignored pleas from his co-pilot to go around. He was sentenced to two years jail early that year but his conviction was later quashed by a superior court.