Malaysia Airlines MH370 missing and conspiracy theories
Worst publicity stunt ever? Malaysia Airlines asked passengers for 'bucket lists' Samsul Said/Reuters

Troubled Malaysia Airlines has been forced to cancel a competition offering the chance to win free plane tickets to passengers who revealed things they wanted to do before they died.

Apparently, nobody in the state airline's marketing department noticed that it might be considered inappropriate to invite passengers to draw up 'bucket lists', following the disappearance of flight MH370 and the missile attack on MH17.

A 'bucket list' is a list of experiences desired by its author before he or she dies.

In an almost unprecedented run of tragedy, 537 people have been killed while flying on Malaysia Airlines this year.

Soon after the competition went public in various media outlets, the competition page on the airline's website vanished, suggesting a top-level change of opinion about its suitability.

Malaysia Airlines announced last week it was considering axing 6,000 jobs after losses following the unsolved disappearance of MH370 and shooting down in eastern Ukraine of MH17.

Photographs from on board its flights have showed rows of deserted seats, with travellers staying away from the airline in the wake of the disasters.