The well informed website of The Business Travel News has today published a very interesting statement from Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy and I wanted to pass it on to you all http://www.bts.co.uk/article/7679 . Here is the first part of what Hugh was saying.
“The forcing down of flight MH17 by what is widely believed to have been a missile has had an unprecedented impact on the aviation industry. It could have been any one of several well-known airlines also operating in the same flight corridor that day.
For too long, airlines have been shouldering the responsibility for making decisions about what constitutes a safe flight path, over areas in political turmoil around the world. We are not intelligence agencies, but airlines, charged with carrying passengers in comfort between destinations.
Against the backdrop of increasingly volatile political situations around the world, such as Ukraine and Gaza, we as an industry must act now to create a system of approval that guarantees safe air passage for all commercial airlines.
As things stand, airlines are ultimately responsible for making a decision on whether or not to take a particular flight path. When planning routes for our aircraft, Malaysia Airlines uses the best possible intelligence from the relevant third-party authorities to determine their safety and suitability. We consult with relevant governments, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Eurocontrol, the air navigation service provider that determines civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace.
All factors are considered when making these decisions, with the safety of passengers and crew being the utmost priority. Malaysia Airlines’ Flight Operations team use 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.
MH17 was in air space approved by ICAO. Its flight plan was approved by the Ukrainian authorities, as well as Eurocontrol. Yet still it was brought down it seems by a missile.
This tragedy has taught us that despite following the guidelines and advice set out by the governing bodies, the skies above certain territories are simply not safe.
To read the complete statement please click here: http://www.bts.co.uk/article/7679