After news broke out about the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, Singapore Airlines posted this message on Facebook and Twitter:
Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace.
— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) July 17, 2014
Many netizens accused the airline of being insensitive. Sophie Chang commented on Facebook that “a better way for the airline to do is to express condolences first.” But Stephen Chapman believes that the statement “was intended to bring calm in a general sense.” Ryan Ik appreciated the clarification but he also felt that “without any words of sympathy, the update feels very cold.”
Insensitive or not, this short update has since then become a viral message in a matter of hours.