Weng Chi Lee, Area Manager – UK & Ireland, Malaysia Airlines, sends the following message to the Irish travel trade.
“Firstly, let me share with you how devastated we are at the tragic loss of MH17. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the passengers and crew who were on board MH17. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones.
“We understand the concerns about safety brought up following this tragic event. I am writing to you to reassert Malaysia Airlines’ commitment to safety, and to reassure you of our long-term future as the national carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines’ number one priority is the safety of its passengers and crew. MH17 was in air space approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Its flight plan was approved by the Ukrainian authorities as well as Eurocontrol, the air navigation service provider that determines civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace.
“Prior to the MH17 incident, Ukraine had been a commonly used flight corridor for Europe-to-Asia flights and 75 airlines flew the same route as MH17 in the two days before the incident. Following the loss of MH17, Malaysia Airlines has – along with all other airlines – taken the decision to no longer fly over Ukrainian air space. We are now flying further south over Turkey, avoiding Ukrainian airspace entirely. We hope this reassures you of our commitment to safety and security.
“In recent days, you may have seen or heard reports that a separate Malaysia Airlines flight flew over Syrian airspace. Malaysia Airlines management has taken immediate action to ensure that we no longer fly this route, despite it being deemed safe by the authorities.
“When planning routes for its aircraft, Malaysia Airlines uses the best possible intelligence from the relevant authorities and governing bodies to determine the safety and suitability of a flight path. All factors are considered when making these decisions, with the safety of passengers and crew being the utmost priority. Malaysia Airlines’ Flight Operations team uses this intelligence, data and advice to make an informed decision on the safety of the proposed route for every one of its aircraft. Only if a route is deemed completely safe by the authorities will Malaysia Airlines proceed with its flight plan.
“Again, I want to reassure you that Malaysia Airlines is committed to transporting its passengers and crew safely between destinations. We continue to fly over 50,000 passengers on 360 flights daily to 60 destinations. Malaysia Airlines is one of just seven 5-star rated airlines in the world, and we are a member of Oneworld, the alliance of 15 of the world’s leading airlines. With 42 years’ operational experience, we have the some of the best pilots, cabin crew and support staff in the world.
“Despite the incident, we have confidence in the company’s recovery and the long-term survival of the business. Let me assure you we also have the full backing of the Malaysian Government. It is our goal to rebuild trust in Malaysia Airlines and ensure we continue to operate long into the future.
“If you would like any more information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your Malaysia Airlines Sales Representatives.
“We thank you for your continued support of Malaysia Airlines during this difficult period and are sincerely grateful to have you as such a valued partner.”
Weng Chi Lee
Area Manager – UK & Ireland
Tel No: +44 20 7341 2060