An international airline has apologised for tweeting advice about which sections of a plane has the highest and lowest death rates.
The Indian branch of the Dutch airline KLM this week posted a tweet this week, as first reported by the Washington Post, as an answer to a trivia question about the safest seats on a plane.
"According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for the seats in the middle of the plane is the highest. However, the fatality rate for the seats in the front is marginally lesser and is least for seats at the rear third of a plane."
The words were accompanied by a perky graphic of a plane seat floating on clouds with the label "Seats at the back of a plane are the safest!".
The post, which came on the anniversary of 193 Dutch citizens dying after MH17 was shot down, was deleted with an apology after the Post requested comment from KLM.
"We would like to sincerely apologise for a recent update. The post was based on a publically available aviation fact, and isn't a @KLM opinion."
But this apology itself has also come under fire, for suggesting the earlier post was based on "fact".
Aviation experts say there is no scientifically conclusive evidence about which parts of the plane are safest, as there are not enough fatalities in air transport to make a valid sample rate.
"There are too many variables, and this is the important one — so few accidents — that a simple answer is probably not statistically defensible," a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson told the Post.
It's been a busy week for KLM's public relations team. The airline had to earlier deal with backlash for telling an American passenger to cover up while breastfeeding.
"Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and shouldn’t make anyone of any culture uncomfortable. Shocking response from @KLM," said Irish politician Catherine Noone.
And it's not the first time an airline has written about air fatalities. Malaysian carrier AirAsia published an article on winter air accidents in its in-flight magazine back in 2013:
Wow, p120 of AirAsia in-flight mag had article re fatal winter air accidents. That's freakin' INDEPENDENT journalism http://t.co/dv6BBIJs— Tony Yoo (@TonyYooAUS) January 1, 2013
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