Sunday, November 15, 2015

You don't have to be the worst airline in the world to have the reputation of the worst airline

Over the last few days, I've read several articles about Aeroflot, in both Western publications such as NYT [link 1, link 2, link 3] and on other news websites. One thing I've consistently noticed is that while statistically, Aeroflot was either as safe as US carriers or at least well above the world average in terms of safety [depending upon which time period we refer to], its reputation was markedly poorer than its actual safety level. Everyone would make fun of Aeroflot as well as Russian-built aircraft, to the extent that it became a habit and maybe an obsession for both the Western public and for the Western news media complex, without paying heed to the actual quality/safety of Aeroflot.

This raises an important point. Can you be demonized in the hearts and minds of the world's peoples - for whatever objective or reason - without you really having to be a demon? The answer seems to be yes. Whether as a result of well-planned but covert attempts by the government, or as a result of the collective hatred of a populace for something, demonization can occur, especially if this populace happens to command significant influence [say via dominance of media] on other people.

Actually safety numbers be damned, Aeroflot started to be assumed as the least safe, and that's what started to matter. The perception, not the real truth, matters.

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