East Ukraine a no-fly zone after Malaysian plane crash

Tags: News
Ukrainian authorities have declared the east of the country a no-fly zone after a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 people crashed in the volatile region, European flight safety body Eurocontrol has said.

European and US airlines rerouted their flights as Kiev said the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in a "terrorist" attack and a US official said intelligence analysts "strongly believe" it was downed by a surface-to-air missile.

"Since the crash, the Ukrainian authorities have informed Eurocontrol of the closure of routes from the ground to unlimited (altitude) in Eastern Ukraine," a statement said yesterday.

"All flight plans that are filed using these routes are now being rejected by Eurocontrol. The routes will remain closed until further notice," it added.

According to Eurocontrol's information, the doomed plane was flying at a level known as "330", or approximately 10,000 metres or 33,000 feet, when it disappeared from radar screens.

The route itself had been closed to level "320" but was cleared for those flying at the Malaysian plane's altitude.

In Paris, a statement by junior transport minister Frederic Cuvillier said French carriers should "avoid Ukraine's air space as long as the reasons behind this catastrophe are not known".

The Boeing 777 dropped off the radar at around 1415 GMT and crashed in a border region held by pro-Russian separatists.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pointedly called the disaster a "terrorist act", and major airlines quickly announced plans to route planes away from the area.

Air France said it decided "to no longer fly over eastern Ukraine as soon as it heard of the event," and Alitalia had done the same.

A spokeswoman for German flag carrier Lufthansa told AFP it also chose to immediately make a "wide detour" around the region because "our passenger's safety is our top priority."

Lufthansa's subsidiary Swiss took similar action, and reported that "one flight between Bangkok and Zurich was affected, the flight was rerouted."

In London, a British Department for Transport spokesman confirmed that "flights already airborne are being routed around the area by air traffic control in the region."

US carrier Delta was one of the first non-European carriers to say it too was steering clear "out of an abundance of caution.

Post new comment

E-mail ID will not be published
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Sanskrit does not compare with German in the job market

    While there can be no argument that the importance of Sanskrit as an all-India language needs to be emphasised, particularly for the young generation

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

Chander Mohan Sethi

CMD, Reckitt Benckiser India

COLUMNIST

M S Swaminathan

Public good research in agriculture

Public good research in agriculture is designed to promote risk ...

Purnendu Ghosh

Why we must know the rules of the game

We like to believe that people are good and we ...

Shona Adhikari

Pop art is truly a feast for the eyes

The internationally reknowned Bruno Art Group’s presence in India had ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture