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It has been announced by the Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) that all flights, both to and from Europe, have been rerouted to avoid Ukrainian airspace. The move came after a Malaysian airlines plane was apparently shot down while crossing the rebel-held country.
Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200ER left Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Thursday at 12.15pm local time and was expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10am today local time. The crash killed 295 people.
A report in New Zealands Sun Live online said that Ohauiti resident Adele Dromgool, who arrived in Auckland last night aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur, said she never felt unsafe on her flights and would fly with the airline again.
“I went to Southeast Asia, where I did two or three flights with them [Malaysian Airlines] over two weeks,” says Adele. “They were lovely staff and great food and service – and I didn’t feel unsafe at all. “I would fly them today.” Adele says today’s crash is unlucky for the airline. “It was a tragic incident, but a bit out of control I suppose.”
Papamoa resident Tyler Rickard said this second incident hasn’t changed her family’s plan to fly with Malaysian Airlines to Thailand in September. Tyler’s family of six will fly from Auckland to Koh Samui on September 6 for a holiday and return via the same airline on September 16.
“We’re flying Malaysian airlines and as far as I’m aware not planning on switching,” says Tyler.
“I think it seems like today’s incident was probably more a result of flying through a bad area than a specific fault of Malaysian airlines; and although they wouldn’t be my airline of choice, I’m not going to change flights because of it.”
Tyler says today’s crash and the disappearance of MH370 – which lost contact with air traffic control on March 8, 2014 and hasn’t been recovered – are freak incidents. “I think at the end of the day they’re freak, one-off incidents and don’t necessarily reflect the standard of the airline as a whole.
“I think it’s really unfortunate for them that they’ve had two horrific incidents quite close together because it gives them a really bad rep [reputation] but I’m not going to wrap myself in bubble wrap because of it.
Papamoa resident Hamish Smith has return airfares to Paris with Malaysian Airlines on September 10-October 10 and would like to hear from the company.
He booked flights about two weeks after MH370 disappeared in March.
“It’s a little bit worrying because it’s the same company – so is it something to do with the company or not? But I think it’s just a coincidence. “It would be nice if Malaysian Airlines sent me an email or something just to reassure us – something on their behalf.”
Travelcom Tauranga’s Roger Miller hasn’t had any clients reacting negatively or wanting to change airlines after this morning’s crash. “Not at this stage, we had people take off toady no problem,” says Roger.
“I can’t see why they would [change airlines] it’s just unfortunate I’s happened. It could have happened to any airline couldn’t it?”
House of Travel Papamoa declined to comment, as did United Travel.
Malaysian Airlines has established a helpline in Kuala Lumpur concerned family members are also encouraged to call on +603 7884 1234.
The airline confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, about 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.
Prime Minister Najib Razak says Malaysia Airlines confirmed the aircraft didn’t make a distress call.
“The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.”