Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: Carrier's London flights carry on, using alternative routes
Confusion had earlier surrounded British Airways once-daily flight to Kiev, which will go ahead as scheduled
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 18 July 2014
Today’s Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is scheduled to depart from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur as normal at noon, local time, today. One hour later, the carrier’s flight MH3 is expected to leave Heathrow.
The airline announced this morning: “With immediate effect, all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will be taking alternative routes avoiding the usual route.”
Passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH2 from Kuala Lumpur arrived at Heathrow 45 minutes late this morning, after the airline adjusted its flight routings in response to the loss of yesterday’s MH17 over Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines also released more information about the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200 – the same type as MH370, which disappeared on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March. The jet was 17 years old.
The airline said: “The aircraft’s last maintenance check was on 11 July 2014. The next check was due on 27 Aug 2014. The maintenance was conducted at Malaysia Airlines’ hangar at KLIA. The aircraft had a clean bill of health..”
British Airways’ service to Kiev departed Heathrow as normal this morning. The airline said: “Our flights are not using Ukrainian airspace, with the exception of our once a day service between Heathrow and Kiev. We are keeping those services under review, but Kiev is several hundred kilometres from the incident site.”
Airspace over eastern Ukraine was closed yesterday. Aeroflot has cancelled its services from Moscow to the city of Dniepropetrovsk.
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