Syria fly-over sparks criticism of Malaysia Airlines

2014-07-22 08:35
(Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP)

(Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Syria
    Options and Implications for Lebanon and the Region Now R196.00
    buy now
Kuala Lumpur - Embattled Malaysia Airlines faced fresh outrage on Tuesday as it confirmed one of its planes flew over war-torn Syria, just days after the MH17 disaster laid bare the risks civilian aircraft face in flying over war zones.

The Malaysian flag carrier confirmed that flight MH4, bound from London for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, re-routed over Syria following the closure of the flight's usual route over Ukraine in the wake of the MH17 tragedy three days earlier.

In a statement issued late on Monday, the crisis-hit airline said the Syrian flight path was among routes approved by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

"As per the notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Syrian Civil Aviation Authority, the Syrian airspace was not subject to restrictions. At all times, MH004 was in airspace approved by ICAO," it said.

But the move drew disbelief and scorn on social media.

"What is wrong with these guys?! Malaysians are now flying over Syria," said one of many Twitter postings on the issue.

"Wanna lose another plane?" asked another.

Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine - where a violent rebellion has raged for months - have been accused of shooting down MH17, killing all 298 aboard in a tragedy that has triggered world outrage.

Syria has been convulsed by a far more bloody civil war since 2011.

The airlines and Malaysia's government have previously defended MH17's flight path over Ukraine.

They cited ICAO clearance for the route, and noted that several major carriers used the well-travelled Europe-Asia path up until the MH17 attack, though some other airlines had abandoned it months ago.

Air traffic tracking site Flightradar24 first reported MH4's flight path on its Twitter feed on Monday.

"As far as we have seen #MH4 was the only transcontinental flight going over Syria," it said.

High-altitude gauntlet

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) did not respond to AFP queries on whether the airline would continue to use the Syria route.

But Flightradar24 data showed that the path of MH4 on Monday - a day after the Syria flyover - skirted just east of Syrian airspace, over Turkey.

Airlines seek the most direct routes possible to minimise flight time and fuel costs, but MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, has spectacularly highlighted the potential risks of flying over world hotspots.

Besides Syria and Ukraine, fighting in areas such as Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East make it difficult to find conflict-free routes for already congested air traffic.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief Tony Tyler issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the MH17 attack and defending Malaysia Airlines.

"Governments and air navigation service providers inform airlines about the routes that they can fly and with what restrictions. Airlines comply with that guidance. That was the case with MH17," Tyler said.

Both Moscow and the pro-Russia rebels who seek to break away from Ukraine have denied accusations by Washington and Kiev that MH17 was shot down by the insurgents using a missile system supplied by Russia.

Malaysia Airlines had already faced withering criticism over the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March with 239 people aboard.

The plane inexplicably veered off course and is now believed to have gone down far to the south in the Indian Ocean, but no trace of any wreckage has been found, and the cause of its disappearance remains unknown.
Read more on:    icao  |  malaysia airlines  |  iata  |  syria  |  malaysia  |  mh17
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.