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MH17 shoot down “changes everything”

written by WOFA | July 21, 2014

Flights continue to be diverted around eastern Ukrainian airspace in the wake of the apparent July 17 MH17 shoot down. (Flightradar24)
Flights continue to be diverted around eastern Ukrainian airspace in the wake of the apparent July 17 MH17 shoot down. (Flightradar24)

Emirates Airline chairman and CEO, Sir Tim Clark has told the Wall Street Journal that the apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airline flight MH17 over the Ukraine on July 17 with the loss of all 298 on board “changes everything” in regards to the safe conduct of international air travel.

“We will no longer rest on the protocols we had in place that we honestly thought were safe,” he said.

Clark’s comments come after IATA Director General Tony Tyler declared in a statement that safety is the organisation’s “top priority” when operating international air routes. Commentators have been critical of IATA and ICAO for not recommending against flying through the airspace as the conflict between the Ukraine and separatist forces escalated in recent months.

“I share the shock and sadness expressed by so many around the world on the terrible loss of MH17,” the IATA statement reads. “At this time, it is important we are very clear: safety is the top priority. No airline will risk the safety of their passengers, crew and aircraft for the sake of fuel savings. Airlines depend on governments and air traffic control authorities to advise which air space is available for flight, and they plan within those limits.”

He added that, “Civil aircraft are not military targets. Governments agreed that in the Chicago Convention. And what happened with MH 17 is a tragedy for 298 souls that should not have happened in any airspace.”

In the wake of the tragedy, Malaysia Airlines has ‘retired’ the MH17 flight number, and has switched to the MH19 coding for services to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

International air traffic continues to largely avoid Ukrainian airspace, with most west to east traffic from western Europe to Asia following a longer southerly corridor over Hungary, Romania and the Black Sea in recent days. North-South traffic between Moscow and Africa, south-eastern European countries or Turkey has been diverted over central or western Ukraine, or over Russian airspace between the Ukrainian border and Volgograd.



  • aviatorman


    The world needs answers.
    Hopefully the perpetrators will be brought to justice to explain (1) who gave them the missile launcher. (2) for what purpose was it to be used for. (3) what ‘friend or foe’ technology was used to ascertain the origin of aircraft. (4) who gave the final order to fire the missile, and why. (5) who gave the callous order to the rebels to prevent proper access by accident investigators and why. (6) why did the Ukraine set a height of 32,000 ft. (7) who was it given to. (8) How was this altitude derived at.
    Am sure there is dozens more questions that need answers, All of which is owed to the world, not least the relatives of the poor souls who perished in this terrible tragedy.

  • Bob


    The blame for this tragedy should be pointed at IATA, Ukrainian civil aviation authority and Malasian airlines. Simply put to take a sunday drive through a war zone and blaming the people shooting at you is a poor excuse for playing russian roulette with the lives of the passengers who have no control over the flight plan.

    But hay don’t let a good multi national disaster get in the way of Europes gas supply. I mean Russia’s support of separatists.

  • John.Cox.


    ICAO was the culprit There were many Airlines using that route on that day ,so don’t just pick on Malaysian,the authorities were asleep on the job.
    Lets hope that they have a good look at all the danger spots and are stricter in there declaring unsafe flight corridors

  • Smithy


    Personally I disagree, both Russia and the Ukraine are signatories to the Chicago Convention which allows for free transit of civil aircraft through their airspace without threat. There have been plenty of conflicts since the Chicago Convention where airspace has not been restricted. I believe blame comes down to the persons who had control of the weapon, in this day and age there is no way they didnt have the means to confirm what they were shooting at.
    Just my personal point of view.

  • Nigel Daw


    I was recently in Europe and travelled there via the air route over Ukraine. On the way back last Thursday our route was over Sofia, Bulgaria and then along the north coast of Turkey – thank goodness. Our aircraft was over Sofia at the time MH17 was destroyed. I feel very fortunate. Nigel

  • Paule


    To blame Malaysia Airlines for this heinous crime is neither reasonable nor rational. This is a war crime and, at 30,000 feet, any airline should be safe. What has happened to MAS in the last 12 months is truly coincidental and, one of the tragedies, at least, is not the result of negligence. We must remember that people of all nationalities have suffered because of these two events. If you want to understand the reason for this latest disaster, just look at the images of the way the victims’ bodies and possessions are being treated by the separatists at the crash site. These people are NOT civilized and certainly have no concern for victims, their lives or their families.

  • Cocoa Jackson


    “In the wake of the tragedy, Malaysia Airlines has ‘retired’ the MH17 flight number, and has switched to the MH19 coding for services to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.” I nteresting.
    This is the type of response anyone would expect from a focus on financial efficiencies by a CFO. It is now quite evident to even those who are not familiar with Aviation CFO or corporation culture of profit before CSR what is happening. Why any group would believe they could risk any of their thin goodwill and perception of aviation safety over the balance sheet bottom line in financial year is beyond logic.

    Rebranding a flight path will look like the inane effort it is. Nothing short of rebranding the Airline and clearing out the elite executive will be sufficient for anyone I know to travel with the group.

    Lets just see how much their shareholders financiers, and partners will risk.

    Time will tell.

  • Adrian


    The follow notice appears to restrict US carriers from flying below FL 200
    Bearing in mind the activity between Mosul and Baghdad over the last few months, is this enough?
    Look at Flightradar24 and see the enormous amount of overflights between Mosul and Baghdad.
    Instead of the blame game it should be the prevention business.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      After some inappropriate and ill-informed comments we received overnight which add no value whatsoever to this thread, I’m suspending comments on this thread until Gerard (who is travelling today) can take a look and make a determination.



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