All 298 people aboard MH17 from
Some industry experts say the incident was beyond the airline's control and while its reputation will be further tarnished, the effect could be limited if it avoids the mistakes made in the MH370 case.
But others warn that even if Thursday's tragedy is proved to have been caused by outside forces it faces an uphill fight to regain passenger confidence.
The flag carrier was already in financial trouble when MH370 disappeared in March en route from
"MH370 sent shivers down people's spines, but most people realised it was an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence, so bookings recovered," Gerry Soejatman, a consultant with the
"MH17 is like lightning striking twice. The effects on bookings will be bigger," he said.
Crucially, two-thirds of passengers on MH370 were from
News of a second tragedy could prove to be a hammer blow to its chances in
"The effects will be huge and may cause the airline to collapse without government support.
The loss of two wide-bodied aircraft also puts a serious dent in its capability, and their financial performance will reflect this," said Soejatman.
The airline, which is 70 per cent-owned by state investment vehicle
Thursday's crash took place in eastern
"If culpability lies entirely with ground forces in rebel-held eastern
The carrier is already facing questions over why is was flying over a conflict zone, while others were diverting, although Malaysian Prime Minister
"No matter how isolated and unrelated the incidents, the unanswered questions and criticisms about the handling of the MH370 situation will reverberate again in the reportage of this latest disaster."
Rylance said "perceptions are shaped not only by facts and reasoned analysis but also by emotions" which are not always rational.
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