After two accidents in less than four months, a first in the history of commercial aviation for a single company, is it possible that Malaysia Airlines may see a significant decline in its clientele - customer base ? To find out, we asked the opinion of a psychologist specializing in the treatment of phobias and anxiety management, and her answer is unequivical.
Velina Negovanska : Doctor of Psychology - Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris) : "It will create a kind of avoidance of the company. Statistically, we know that there is little chance that the same situation will ever happen again, but in the end our brain says ''avoid such a situation''. There are many things that we know cognitively, what we have learned, in other words, everything concerning logical information.
But logical information sometimes steps aside, leaving room for more emotional information, and all it needs is just to see pictures of a 'plane crash of one company or another. It's these images that will have a more forceful impact on the memory.
In fact, our body protects us, our body gives us information on where there is a danger or not, and it's true that everything seen and experienced more emotionally, will impregnate our memory in a much stronger, longer lasting manner, than just simple statistics."
And the media, to some degree, could have some effect. According to the psychologist, newspapers and television channels tend to focus more generally on a plane crash, rather than on a train collision or road accident, in a way that contributes to the increase in our anxiety.
People are more likely to travel with a company where one of its 'planes has crashed due to terrorism, rather than human error on the part of the crew, or a technical failure of the aircraft. Regarding the mysteries of the two Malaysia Airlines accidents, the company, for now, finds itself in a more favourable light.
Finally, as a reminder, the crash of Flight MH-17, a little more than a week ago in the Ukraine is rare. In the history of civil aviation, less than ten aircraft have been shot down by a missile. In terms of lives lost, the worst were those of an Iran Air A-300 in 1988 brought down by the U.S. Navy, and a Korean Air Lines B-747 destroyed in 1983 by a Soviet fighter aircraft. Both accidents caused the death of 290 and 269 people respectively. That of flight MH-17 paid the highest price with 298 victims.