Boeing sent just two tweets as reports of another Dreamliner fire spread around the world, while Ethiopia Airlines ignored the situation entirely on social media, despite the number of conversations that were taking place.
The Boeing Dreamliner 787, flown by Ethiopia Airlines caught fire and closed the airport while firefighters took control of the situation, and sending the company’s shares plummeting.
The two messages sent by Boeing did little but acknowledge that the fire had taken place.
We’re aware of the 787 event @HeathrowAirport and have Boeing personnel there. We're working to fully understand and address this.— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) July 12, 2013
Our team is on ground working in support of UK authorities & Ethiopian Airlines to determine cause of 787 event @HeathrowAirport.— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) July 12, 2013
However, Ethiopia Airlines, which does has a Twitter account, chose to ignore the situation on social media, choosing instead to issue a statement which read: “Today on Friday, 12 July 2013, smoke was detected from Ethiopian Airlines B787 aircraft with registration number ET-AOP, which was parked at London Heathrow airport for more than eight hours.
“The aircraft was empty when the incident was observed.
“The cause of the incident is under investigation by all concerned.”
The airport itself however actively used social media to inform passengers and outside observers of the situation and how it was affecting services.
Due to an incident on an aircraft, arrivals and departures are currently suspended. @metpoliceuk advise that no passengers are on board.— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) July 12, 2013
We're currently assisting Heathrow airport fire crews at an incident involving an aircraft. We were called just after 4.30pm. More soon.— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) July 12, 2013
Update: Arrivals & departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend an incident on board the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) July 12, 2013
Both runways are currently suspended, so pls expect delays & check yr flight status before travelling to the airport: http://t.co/HtSb2zT9vm— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) July 12, 2013
Meanwhile, as both companies chose to largely ignore tweeting information, thousands of messages about the incident and pictures of the plane emerged on Twitter from stranded passengers and media at Heathrow airport.
If you need to find Heathrow fire station, it's the grey building with the glass cab, next to the burning aeroplane. pic.twitter.com/HUFCzgE0Q0— David KaminskiMorrow (@FlightDKM) July 12, 2013
PHOTO: Fire on parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner causes runways to close at London's Heathrow Airport pic.twitter.com/0OOvcvs8Wt— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) July 12, 2013
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on fire in London (ugh, not again) http://t.co/ew7jNk3QDC— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) July 12, 2013
The airport also tweeted when its runways were clear when flights were able to resume once more.