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Flights Avoid Ukraine After Malaysian Plane Shot Out of Sky

Image: Flights Avoid Ukraine After Malaysian Plane Shot Out of Sky
This photo taken on July 18, 2014 shows the information screen at the Arrivals hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang displaying Malaysia Airlines MH017.

By    |   Friday, 18 Jul 2014 01:09 PM

Many flights have avoided Ukrainian airspace after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky in the eastern part of the country, bringing the issue of whether to fly over conflict zones to the fore.

Reuters reported Friday that Qantas Airways and other airlines altered their flight paths to avoid Ukrainian airspace when Russia invaded the eastern portion of the country in March, calling into question why more airlines didn't do the same.

"Although the detour adds to flight time and cost, we have been making the detour for safety," said a spokeswoman for Asiana, which has been diverting its once-weekly cargo flight around Ukraine since March 3.

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The U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Brussels-based Eurocontrol advised on April 3 that the Ukraine's Crimean airspace should be avoided, and the European Aviation Safety Agency also issued a safety bulletin, however no international restrictions were imposed.

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch blog reported that the FAA cautioned all U.S. air carriers to avoid flying over the Crimea region in April. "But that warning did not include the Donetsk region in the eastern part of Ukraine, where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed Thursday. The FAA has not yet issued any new warnings in the immediate aftermath of reports that the airliner had been shot down," it wrote.

It also reported that many international airlines were not avoiding the area, and "were flying as usual on Thursday."

When asked why Flight MH17 was allowed to fly over the airspace, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said, "We've flown this route for many years, it's safe and that's the reason why we are taking this route."

298 people, including one American and at least seven prominent AIDS researchers, died when the plane was shot out of the sky by sources yet to be determined.

According to The Huffington Post, several online flight tracking sites have shown that there has been a nearly complete avoidance of the region since the disaster.





U.S.-based airline Delta confirmed Thursday that all of its flights will be rerouted around the Ukraine, however it currently doesn't operate any that would have reason to fly over the region. 

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Many flights have avoided Ukrainian airspace after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky in the eastern part of the country, bringing the issue of whether to fly over conflict zones to the fore.
flights, avoid, ukraine
3580
2014-09-18
Friday, 18 Jul 2014 01:09 PM
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