The identities of the three Filipino passengers who perished on Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 were released by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
|Image source: Craig/Wikimedia|
Two hundred ninety-eight passengers and crew were on board the ill-fated Boeing 777-200 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday when it was alleged to have been shot down in the Eastern Ukraine by Russian Rebels. It is presumed all of them, most of whom were Dutch nationals, perished with the carrier. World leaders condemned the incident, called for a thorough and immediate investigation, and expressed their sympathy to families of the victims and the Malaysian people.
Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines (PAL) for its part reiterates that it does not utilise Ukrainian airspace for its Manila-London flight. PR720 and its return counterpart, PR721 do not go through the former Soviet Union. In a statement issued last Friday, PAL also assured everyone that it complies with "all safety advisories covering allowed flight routes, areas of restriction or conflict areas, and all other related matters governing flight paths". Under permitted routings, it uses a more southern route that goes through Indochina, the Indian Subcontinent, Iran, Turkey, Southeastern Europe, Austria, Germany and Belgium. However, even using a Great Circle trajectory, which is the shortest distance between the two points, PAL is not expected to go near Ukrainian airspace.
DFA Spokesperson Charlie Jose said it will up to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) whether to ban Philippine-based carriers from using Ukranian airspace. Other carriers have also stopped using Ukrainian airspace amidst the incident and the ongoing conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels. Moreover, the United States' Federal Aviation Administration banned its carriers from using the same airspace.
|What a MNL-LHR flight would look like when utilising a Great Circle Routing|
Image Source: Great Circle Mapper