Low cost carrier Lion Air has filed a defamation complaint against a comedy collective over a skit that took aim at the airline's safety record.
Lelah Miskin (Indonesian for "tired of being poor") Project, which is led by comedian Marshel Widianto, recently posted a video of the skit in which several talking heads – not including Marshel himself – took jibes at the country's largest private airline. Throughout the video, the comedians implied that one may be risking their life by flying with Lion Air.
"If you take Lion Air, you don't have to memorize your seat number. Just memorize prayers," one said.
"If you take Lion Air, your extended family should see you off at the airport. In case that's your last meeting," another chimed in.
Lion Air has had several safety scares but only two major crashes in its service history. In October 2018, Lion Air flight JT-610 crashed shortly after take off from Jakarta, killing all 189 on board. Investigators found that design flaws in the aircraft – a Boeing 737 MAX – and inadequate pilot training were factors that caused the crash.
In November 2004, 25 onboard flight JT-538 were killed after the plane overran the runway and crashed onto a cemetery on landing. Officials determined that the crash was caused by aquaplaning.
For what it's worth, the airline did not find the skit humorous at all.
"[The video] contains negative, misleading, and defamatory material, which has damaged the reputation of the company in the eyes of netizens and the public," Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro said in a statement yesterday.
Danang added that the airline expects police to launch an investigation into Lelah Miskin Project for online libel.
The collective has expressed remorse for the video, acknowledging that the fault was fully theirs while hoping that Lion Air would accept their apology.
This morning, Marshel posted a story on Instagram depicting a Batik Air plane – Lion Air's full service airline – with the caption "I love Lion Air."