While the disappearance of flight MH370 confounds many people around the world, some travelers are changing their minds when heading to Malaysia or when boarding a Malaysia Airlines plane, Business Standard reported.
Travel agents have been receiving numerous calls and emails concerning the recent tragedy, and several passengers want to book another flight or use a different airline for their travel. According to the source, some business risk management teams sent their corporate travelers on different flights to avoid travel on Malaysia Airlines.
When organizations send their assets overseas, it is in the best interest to remain abreast of the latest travel warnings to improve situational awareness. Having an asset liability management plan in place to protect and inform business travelers could help them avoid potential risks while across borders, or even in airports. Corporate travelers need updated information in case an incident occurs.
Passengers moving to different airlines
Many countries are still actively searching for the missing plane, which has caught the attention of several businesses sending their workers on Malaysian Airlines. The airline is currently facing global scrutiny, which is causing hesitation for some business travelers. According to the source, several companies are moving their passengers to Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Air India.
"All airlines follow international standards but some tourists just get skeptical after such incidents," Goyal told the source. "It leaves a negative sentiment."
Dat Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, director general of Tourism Malaysia, told Business Standard the only significant impact so far has been from hesitant Chinese travelers, but the security at Kuala Lumpur International Airport follows strict global guidelines and boasts 40 million passengers annually.
Travel awareness still necessary
Businesses are still increasing their awareness when handling corporate travelers, and having incident information about their location is essential. Corporate security departments should fully educate their travelers when sending them across seas so they are aware of any incidents that have recently occurred.
Malaysian Airlines is still at risk of losing money from the business of corporate travelers using their planes, reported Reuters.
"I would say 80 percent of corporate travelers would opt to change [airlines] for now," Alicia Seah, director of communications at Dynasty Travel in Singapore, told the source.
According to a World Travel and Tourism Council report, in 2012, business travel made up for more than half of the travel and tourism contribution in Malaysia, Reuters cited.