A closer look of the grief of the public over Sriwijaya Air SJ182 tragedy & the Indonesian airline industry
01 Feb 2021
On January 9th, 2021, a tragedy struck between Laki and Lancang Islands of Kepulauan Seribu. The Sriwijaya Air aircraft identified as Flight 182 crashed to a nautical area between Laki-Lancang Islands minutes after taking off. According to official records shown by Flightradar24, the aircraft had alarmingly dropped from 3,000m in less than a minute. Flight 182 carried 62 passengers, 12 being the flight crew and 50 passengers. BASARNAS and other government officials have been working tirelessly in the search of the disassembled aircraft and victims.
As expected, the devastating news spread rapidly throughout numerous social media platforms, specifically, Twitter filled with people posting their prayers and condolences regarding the matter especially for the victims involved and those who were impacted by the loss of the victims on board Flight 182. Our platform captured 121.171 tweets for these past 10 days from January 9th, 2021, with a total of 607.072 social conversations across all major social media and online platforms regarding Sriwijaya Air alone since the tragedy occurred. The week before there were less than 100 conversations on Twitter regarding Sriwijaya Airlines. This shows the overwhelming number of compassion and condolences that flooded social which shows just how much the general Indonesian public sympathizes and empathizes with such tragedies.
Most conversations shared a common theme around the keywords “pesawat”, “korban”, “jatuh”, “penumpang”, and “Sriwijaya Air SJ”, along with the hashtags, such as #PrayForSriwijayaAir (13.515 tweets) and #PrayForSJ182 (10.468 tweets). The hashtags were used not only on Twitter, but across other social media and online platforms, such as online media, forums, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, in which the hashtag #PrayForSJ182 was used in 37.272 in general and there were 334.360 posts mentioning the hashtag #PrayForSriwijayaAir.
Sriwijaya Air also took immediate action on social media, posting their statement regarding the missing aircraft back on the 9th of January along with follow up statements expressing their condolences and assurance to the public that they take this matter along with matters of safety as a priority. The response from Netizens regarding these statements posted on the Airline’s official Twitter account was of course filled with prayers, condolences, sadness, and grief for the victims and those facing the lost of their loved ones who were on board SJ182. However, there are also a few other responses that our platform managed to capture which appeared to be words of support for the Airline itself, and Netizens sharing their experiences on board Sriwijaya Air’s many past flights, along with suggestions for the Airline and relevant government officials for better aircraft quality control.
This tragedy was very heartbreaking to read about, we couldn’t help but wonder if it left the overall online audience scared or unsure of flying in general. While we were focusing on news and posts of Sriwijaya Air and SJ Flight 182, there were a few other airlines that seemed to be mentioned repeatedly in a number of netizen conversations after the tragedy, namely, Lion Air which was mentioned in 22.663 Conversations with overall the most negative sentiments, reaching 20.6% of negative sentiments from the public (online) due to the Lion Air flight that also experienced an unfortunate incident as their aircraft slipped in December 2020. Other airlines mentioned were Air Asia that was mentioned in 11.452 conversations and Batik Air with 2.664 conversations. It is evident that the sentiment of the online public towards the airline industry in general is mostly negative due to the grief and sadness over the tragedy. However, there were some positive sentiments captured due to their prayers posted, and news regarding the BASARNAS team search updates along with help or donation links posted by Netizens to help the burden of those affected by the loss of the victims.
This was a devastating tragedy and the conversations captured about the airline industry clearly shows the grief of the public regarding the saddening news and about aircraft safety in general
Our condolences go out to anyone affected by the loss of the victims on board SJ182.
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