As Details of Asiana Airlines Crash Emerge, the Company Faces a Crisis With Transparency

Image: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Image: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

In the immediate aftermath of the July 6 crash, Asiana Airlines has on several occasions shown a willingness to be forthcoming and accessible, at the highest ranks of the company. The CEO and other company representatives spoke the day after the crash, even as the causes of the tragic incident—which led to the deaths of two people and injured more than 100—are still unclear. From a communications perspective, the company’s approach is noteworthy.

Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin made a quick and concise statement about the pilot, Lee Gang-guk, saying that while he had logged more than 10,000 miles flying other aircraft, he only had 43 hours of experience flying a 777. Accident investigators are investigating whether pilot error, mechanical problems or some other factor was to blame for the crash. Asiana Airlines CEO, Yoon Young-Doo, ruled out the possibility that mechanical problems were the catalyst, according to AP. He also stressed that he did not mean to imply that he was convinced the pilot was to blame either, reported the AP.

As the details of the event continue to unfold, Asiana Airlines appears to be attempting to publicly state what it knows and be as transparent as possible. The company seems committed to openly engaging stakeholders, regardless of how the answers will make the airline look.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.


  • Debra Yearwood

    Good for Asiana Airlines. It’s the right thing to do and they’ll benefit from being forthright in the long run. We are watching the consequences of a horrific train accident in Quebec which has seen the lost of life, livelihoods and homes. To the amazement of all observers, the company president showed up in the small town where the horrific accident took place five days after the accident. That means that the Prime Minister, The Premier and the official opposition leader have all managed to find the time to go the town before the president thought to leave Chicago. He had to have a police escort as locals heckled him through out his tour and has consistently been asked if he has compassion.

    • Lucia Davis

      Thanks for reading and sharing Debra. Transparency and compassion go a long way in these tragic situations. Crazy that it took the company president that long to show up.

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