Malaysia Airlines flight 17

Malaysia Airlines passengers in Hong Kong take pragmatic view of events

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 8:47am

The few passengers checking in at Malaysia Airlines desks at Chek Lap Kok last night were taking a pragmatic view of events.

"[These events] can happen to every airline," 50-year-old Malaysian resident Justin Loh said. "It may affect the cancellation of flights ... but as time goes by people will forget."

Having been a frequent flyer with the airline for about 20 years, Loh said he was not worried about flying with the airline despite yesterday's disaster and the earlier disappearance of flight MH370.

That's the attitude expected by Robert Bor, a psychologist with Dynamic Change Consultants when asked what might happen after details of the crash emerged.

He said most people would feel an increase in anxiety about flying, but this wouldn't necessarily stop them from flying.

"People know what happened here," Bor said. "Their anxieties are more likely to be allayed."

But he said the airline might see a temporary drop in reservations.

It was not known how the crash had affected sales.

Deb Ling, a 25 year-old university recruiter, who's set to fly with the airline in a few days, described fear of flying as "just unnecessary thoughts at the back of your mind … especially when a lot of the incidents seem to point towards mysterious decisions on MAS' part."

She said it would not deter her from flying as it was statistically more likely that she would be involved in a car accident.

Last year, there were 29 airline accidents and 265 fatalities involving commercial flights, according to the Aviation Safety Network - a year in which, according to the International Air Transport Association, a record 3.1 billion people flew.