It is tragic news that those of us who love flying dread to hear – that an airline, for no discernible reason of which we are aware at this point in time, loses contact with air traffic control and disappears from radar . The Boeing 777-200 is feared to have crashed into the South China Sea near the coast of VietNam. However, details are still emerging and theories abound. As of 9:00 am EST, reports of two oil slicks on the water near the south coast of Vietnam. A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were each between 6 and 9 miles long. It said the slicks were consistent with the kinds that would be left by fuel from a crashed airliner.
Although statistics prove airline transportation to be the safest way to travel, when events of this magnitude happen, I believe even the most seasoned of frequent flyers take time to reflect.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the crew and passengers of Flight 370. Malaysia Airlines reports that MH370 was carrying a total number of 227 passengers and 12 crew members.
Information – Links:
An excellent recap of coverage and discussion can be found in this FlyerTalk Thread.
Early Official Statement from the Group CEO of Malaysia Airlines:
Statement By Our Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya on MH370 Incident. [#MASalert]
- Released at 9.05am/8 Mar 2014 MY Local Time
- We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing.
- The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time.
- Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40am (local Malaysia time) today.
- Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing B777-200 aircraft.
- The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities.
- Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.
- Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.
- Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support.
- Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.
- The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.
- The public may contact +603 7884 1234. For media queries,
- kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.
If you are interested in following up-to-date news, SkyNews is streaming the story at LiveStation.
The Wall Street Journal Streaming news can be found here.
On Twitter: @MAS #MH370 Hishammuddin Hussein (MAS CEO) New Straits Times Online
About Malaysia Airlines:
Malaysia Airlines is one of Asia-Pacific’s best full-service carriers in terms of safety and service despite some recent financial problems, according to a Reuters report which details the background of the airline and the plane.
The Kuala Lumpur based carrier competes with AirAsia domestically, and with Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airways, and Cathay Pacific on international routes.
The airline, part of the OneWorld Alliance which includes British Airways and Qantas, has 88 aircraft in its fleet, including Airbus A330s and A380s, and Boeing 777-200s and 737s, according to its website.
They include 15 777-200ERs, one of which was involved in Saturday’s disappearance. These aircraft are deployed on its long-range services within Asia-Pacific and to Europe.
Its fleet of 777-200ERs has an average age of 14.2 years, according to airfleets.com, an authoritative website that tracks airline fleets, making it one of the oldest such fleets of 777-200s in the world.
Malaysia Airlines gave the registration number of the aircraft as 9M-MRO, indicating the plane is 11 years and eight months old. It was powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, an airline official confirmed by telephone from Kuala Lumpur.
The airline was set to order Airbus A330 or A350 aircraft to start replacing some of its older 777s from 2016, with the management having identified fleet replacement as a key plank of its plan to turn around the loss-making airline.
The last fatal incident involving a Malaysia Airlines aircraft took place on 15 Sepember 1995, when 34 people died after a Fokker 50 crashed on approach to Tawau, a town in the eastern state of Sabah.
Before that, in 1977, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed in Tanjung Kupang, in Johor state, killing all 100 people on board. That was the deadliest crash to date involving a Malaysian aircraft.
The Boeing 777 is the US plane maker’s most popular wide-body aircraft and has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft in service.
The first seruious incident took place in January 2008, when a British Airways 777-200ER crash landed just short of London’s Heathrow airport, injuring 45 people. In July 2011, an Egypt Air 777-200ER had a fire in the cockpit while parked at a gate in Cairo and was evacuated without injuries. Both aircraft were written off.
The only fatal crash so far came on July 6 last year when Asiana Airlines flight 214 struck a seawall on landing in San Francisco. Of 307 people aboard, three died and more than 180 were injured. The crash investigation, while still ongoing, has so far indicated no mechanical failure and focused on the pilots’ failure to recognize that the plane was flying too low and too slowly as it approached the runway.
Australian News Live Continuing Coverage:
(via Infinitive Australia)