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Back in February I wrote a blog about the Alitalia ATR-72 which ran off a runway & not only lost all its pride but also its complete Alitalia livery by the next morning. (Click here:"The Italian Job: A Complete Whitewash").
Well, it seems the doctrine of "Brand Protection" just goes on & on. Last week a Thai Airways A330-300 suffered a nose gear collapse & went off the runway in Bangkok. Injuries & damage were relatively minimal, but of greatest concern to some in the airline was obviously the brand.
The Thai Airways livery is quite a pretty one. One any planespotting visit to Sydney, my wife will always say, "Look, there's the plane with the pretty purple tail!"
But seriously, is this any way to treat it?
Photo: Associated Press
You'd be mistaken for thinking this was a bad photoshopping job, but this crude insult to a beautiful brand was actually done in the name of attempting to preserving it. Go figure.
Photo: Bangkok Post
And whilst the Alitalia ATR was completely repainted, albeit very hastily, this effort, in my opinion, just adds insult to injury. Here's what happened the night before....
And when she was finally back on her feet, the Airbus was sporting something of a black eye.
What's my point? The simple fact is that everyone knows it was a Thai Airways plane. Hiding the brand doesn't make the problem go away; it just makes it worse. You don't see the media reporting, "A mysterious plane who's identity we can't be sure of has crash landed today in Bangkok. But don't worry, I'm sure it's not whatever airline you're flying on to, from or within Thailand."
No, instead, everyone knows it was Thai Airways. In fact, probably several times more people know about it now because the "brand protection" exercise received more formal & social media attention than the actual mishap did.