• Inside MH146 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur (14/8/2014) (Source: Ricardo Goncalves)
This photo of an empty Malaysia Airlines flight out of Australia recently is going viral, so what's the story behind it?
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27 Aug 2014 - 6:02 PM  UPDATED 29 Aug 2014 - 10:07 AM

About two weeks ago this photo of an empty Malaysia Airlines flight landed in my inbox. A mate of mine sent it to me. His mate was on the flight. So I tweeted it.

It quickly went viral, but some people questioned its legitimacy.

The person who took the photo came forward publically though, confirming its authenticity.

Leanne Marotta later told me that she took the photo of her cousin on board the plane to "remember how very few people were on board."

It was taken on board Malaysia Airlines flight 146 which departed Melbourne at 740 flying direct to Kuala Lumpur arriving at 1415 on Thursday 14 August 2014, about two to three hours into the flight.

She estimates there was about 60 people on board.

"I remember clearly asking the gentleman when checking in at around 530 at MEL why there was no one at check in," she said.

"He basically told me that it was because it was early in the morning but I have never seen so few people around when checking in.  There was absolutely no waiting time to do this."

As for this question tweeted by one person:

Leanne tells me, "the pillows and blankets were scattered because after our meal (breakfast) the flight crew advised us to take any seats we wanted so people opened all blankets etc and lay down on any of the 4 seats they could find".

"It definitely was not a transit flight and as stated we were mid-flight when this picture was taken," she said.

The company is currently considering a restructure following the events of 2014, but Leanne adds: