Air Asia Crisis Communications Strategies and Malaysia Airlines: A Content Analysis

Ni Ketut Dimar Warsihantari, I Gusti Ngurah Putra


The aviation industry is one of the most vulnerable industrial sectors to the crisis. Failure to manage the crisis they face can threaten their lives. Therefore, managers of airline companies are required to have the ability to manage crisis and communicate in crisis situations. Crisis communication strategy becomes an important part in crisis management. This study uses content analysis of the crisis communication strategies used by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines in their respective aircraft accidents on December 28, 2014 and March 8, 2014. This research found that both companies were fast enough to respond to crises despite differences in strategy they use in responding the  crisis. AirAsia emphasizes the use of apology without ignoring compensating, while Malaysia Airlines emphasizes compensation without ignoring apology.


crisis communication, press releases, aviation industry, apology

Full Text:



Abramenka, Viktoryia. (2013). Content Analysis of British Petroleum and Tokyo Electric Power Company's Crisis Communication Messages: Comparative Analysis of Crisis Communication Strategies. Grand Valley State University Masters Theses. Paper 55.

Benoit, W. L. (1995). Account, Excuses, and Apologies: A Theory of Image Restoration Strategy. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Cooley, S.C. dan Asya Besova Cooley. (2011). An Examination of The Situational Crisis Communication Theory Through The General Motors Bankruptcy. Journal of Media and Communication Studies Vol. 3(6) pp. 203-211. ISSN 2141-2545.

Coombs, W. T. (2006). The protective powers of crisis response strategies: Managing reputational assets during a crisis. Journal of promotion management, 12(3-4), 241-260. DOI:10.1300/J057v12n03_13.

Coombs, W. T. (2007). Protecting Organization Reputations During a Crisis: The Development and Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory. Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 10:163. DOI:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1550049

Coombs, W. T. (2010). Crisis Management: A Communicative Approach, In Botan C. & Hazleton V. (Ed.) Public Relations Theory II. Mahaw, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J. (2007). The negative communication dynamic: Exploring the impact of stakeholder on behavioral intentions. Journal of Communication Management, 11: 300–312. DOI:

Coombs, W. T. dan Holladay, S.J. (2010). The Handbook of Crisis Communication. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell

Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J. (Eds.). (2011). The Handbook of Crisis Communication (Vol. 22). UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Cowden, Kimberly dan Timotthy L. Sellnow. (2002). Issues Advertising as Crisis Communication: Northwest Airlines’ Use of Image Restoration Strategies During the 1998 Pilot’s Strike. Journal of Business Communication 39:193. DOI: 10.1177/002194360203900203.

McDonald, L. (2005). Perceiving is believing: How consumers attributions about the causes of the Ansett airlines’ safety crisis impacted outcomes. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol. 6(2), 1-13.

Ray, Sally J. (1999). Strategic Communication in Crisis Management: Lesson from the Airline Industry. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Book.

Sturges, David L. (1994). Communicating through crisis: A Strategy for Organizational Survival. Management Communication Quarterly. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Taylor, Maureen & Michael I., Kent. (2006). Taxonomy of Mediated Crisis Responses. Public Relations Review 33 (2007) 140-146. DOI:10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.017

Taylor, Maureen dan Danielle C. Perry. (2005). Diffusion of traditional and new media tactics in crisis communication. Public Relations Review 31:209–217. DOI:10.1016/j.pubrev.2005.02.018.

News Sites:

Allen, Kevin. (2015). “Comparing Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia’s crisis responses”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 2 Maret 2016. (2014). “How does AirAsia Flight 8501 compare to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 2 Maret 2016. 12 Desember 2008. “Hadapi Krisis, United Airlines-Continental Airlines Bermitra”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 5 September 2016 2 Desember 2015. “Hasil Investigasi KNKT Ungkap Penyebab Kecelakaan Pesawat Air Asia QZ8501”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 1 Juni 2016

Riana, Friski. (2015). “Begini Kronologi Jatuhnya Pesawat AirAsia QZ8501 Versi KNKT”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 1 Maret 2016. 28 Maret 2015. “Sejarah Hari Ini: Garuda Indonesia Dibajak Teroris”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 5 September 2016

________. 16 Maret 2016. “Puing di Pulau Reunion Diragukan Milik Pesawat MH370”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 28 Maret 2016 20 Maret 2010. “Kru Maskapai British Airways Mogok Kerja”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 5 September 2016 29 Oktober 2012. “Maskapai Penerbangan India Dilanda Krisis Keuangan”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 5 September 2016.


International Air Transport Association. April, 2015. Safety Report 2014. Montreal-Geneva. Diakses dari pada tanggal 28 Maret 2015.

Komite Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi: Aircraft Accident Investigation Report. (2015). Diakses dari pada tanggal 2 Juni 2016

Statistic Brain Research Institute. (2016). “Airplane Crash Statistic”. Diakses dari pada tanggal 5 April 2016.


Article Metrics:

Abstract Views - 414

PDF Downloads - 301


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Indexed by: 
Google Scholar  Mendeley     

Jurnal Komunikasi Ikatan Sarjana Komunikasi Indonesia (P-ISSN : 2548-8740, E-ISSN : 2503-0795)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Editorial Secretariat:
Jurnal Komunikasi: Ikatan Sarjana Komunikasi Indonesia (ISKI)
Wisma Antara, 2nd Floor
Jl. Merdeka Selatan No. 17, Central Jakarta 10110

Contact Person: Rajab Ritonga, Ph.D

Email                  :

Call/Whatsapp : +62811133471
View My Stats