Tag Archives: Ukraine

The Netherlands has now identified 262 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17, one was found wearing an oxygen mask

Malaysia MH 17 Flight Route Map

The investigation in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in the Ukraine continues with the Government of the Netherlands taking the lead. According to this report by CNN, one passenger was found wearing an oxygen mask suggesting the passenger had time to don the mask. The shoot down and crash occurred in the pro-Russian rebel portions of the eastern Ukraine (see above) near Donetsk.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

On October 3, 2014 the Government of the Netherlands issued this statement about the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine.

It was announced that a further 11 victims of the MH 17 air disaster have been identified. Of these 11 victims, 8 were Dutch nationals and 3 were nationals of other countries. This brings the total number of victims of the disaster now identified to 262.

The next of kin of these victims have been informed. The mayors of the municipalities in which the victims lived will also be notified if, when consulted, the next of kin express a desire for this to be done. At the request of the relevant countries’ embassies, the nationalities of the identified victims who were not from the Netherlands has not been disclosed.

A team of specialists is currently hard at work on identifying victims of the disaster. However, as was previously stressed, it may take some time before all the victims have been identified. The media will be provided with periodic updates on the progress made.

On July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashed in the Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. On board were 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Among the passengers were 196 Dutch citizens.

Map: PM3/Wikipedia Creative Commons.

Flight routes of MH 17 and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 including airspace restrictions.

Route of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 on July 17, 2014 at 12:55 to 13:20 UTC, and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 at 13:08 to 13:27 UTC; flight data from Flightradar24 (MH 17, SQ 351), rendered map from OpenStreetMap; restricted airspace zones as to NOTAMs A1383/14 and A1492/14.

Kharkiv Airlines adds two new routes to Istanbul

Kharkiv Airlines (Kharkiv, Ukraine) on September 16 added two new routes Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen) from both Odessa and Kharkiv. Kharkiv is in disputed eastern portion of the Ukraine.

Kharkiv Airlines, a charter airline until now, becomes a scheduled carrier with these two routes.

Copyright Photo: Karl Corni/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 UR-CLS (msn 32841) arrives in Antalya.

Kharkiv Airlines: AG Slide Show

Swiss to drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1. It currently operates five flights a week with Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The airline issued this short statement:

Swiss will be withdrawing its present Zurich-Kiev service with effect from October 1. The service is being terminated for economic reasons, as business on the route has failed to develop in line with expectations. The service was introduced in the 2013/14 winter schedules.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close action. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets touches down on the runway at the Zurich hub.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot and Transaero must obtain prior approval to fly over the Ukraine

The Ukrainian government (Kiev) is taking countermeasures after Russia banned Ukrainian airlines from flying over Russian airspace, severely impacting Ukrainian International Airlines (Kiev) as previously reported.

According to the Moscow Times, “Ukraine demanded that Russian airlines Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) and Transaero Airlines (Moscow) obtain permission for every flight they make over its territory, because these airlines fly over Crimean airspace which Ukraine considers to be closed.”

The new airspace rule became effective on August 14.

European airlines could face additional airspace restrictions by Russia on trans-Siberian routes following sanctions by the European Union of Russian due to its on-going interference in the Ukraine. If this “airspace war” continues to escalate, airlines like Finnair (Helsinki) could be severely impacted as previously reported.

Ironically Russia and the Ukraine were former members of the old Soviet Union.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Transaero is planning to introduce a weekly St. Petersburg-Vienna route (flown with Boeing 737-300s) starting on October 31.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Aeroflot’s Boeing 737-8LJ VP-BRF (msn 41195) completes its final approach to Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Aeroflot Russian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

60 international investigators reach the Malaysia Airlines MH 17 crash site today, Malaysian Police secure the site

Malaysia logo-1

According to CNN, 60 international investigators today (August 1) reached the crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 in the eastern part of the Ukraine where fighting continues. Malaysian Police, after receiving permission, have secured the crash site.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Last night (July 31) Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia issued this statement:

Like the Netherlands, Malaysia is in mourning. We mourn the loss of all 298 lives on board MH 17.

And as we watched the first bodies arrive in Eindhoven, our hearts reached out to the people of the Netherlands, who have lost so much.

The flags flying at half-mast told their own story: of the nations who lost their sons and daughters. And of our determination to work together to bring them home.

Malaysia stands with the Netherlands, with Australia; with all countries whose people have been lost. We stand together, united in grief, and ready to help however we can.

Earlier, Prime Minister Rutte and I spoke about the continued military activity at the crash site; the inability of international investigators to deploy across it; and the human remains that may still lie there.

For the sake of the grieving families, it is imperative that all remains at the crash site are repatriated as soon as possible. Every single victim must be given dignity and a decent funeral.

Our other priority is to ensure the international investigators are given full and unfettered access to the site, so that they may collect evidence and carry out their vital work. Only then will we be able to find out what happened to MH 17; only then can we achieve justice for the victims and their families.

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved. But the people on board that plane had no part in it.

We ask that there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site – by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.

We ask that all sides respect the lives lost, and the integrity of the site, so that the investigation may proceed. The long walk towards justice begins with this step.

A team of 68 Malaysian police has arrived in Kiev. They will work together with the Dutch and Australian teams to help secure access to the site.

Malaysia fully supports the international investigation, and we are grateful to the Netherlands for their lead role in the international team.

Repatriating the remains of victims as fast as possible is a shared priority. Malaysian experts are already helping here in the Netherlands with the painstaking task of identification – and we stand ready to provide more assistance if required.

On behalf of Malaysia, I would like to thank Prime Minister Rutte and the Dutch people for all they have done, and continue to do, for the victims of this senseless and tragic act.

Thank you.

Malaysia Airlines MH 17 investigators are unable to go to the crash site due to fighting in eastern Ukraine

Malaysia logo-1

CNN is reporting the following concerning the on-going investigation of the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in eastern Ukraine:

“International investigators and observers were again prevented from reaching the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Tuesday (July 29) by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.

The Dutch Justice Ministry said the team was unable to leave the city of Donetsk because “there is too much fighting at the moment on and near the route to the disaster site.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

IATA makes a statement about Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17

IATA logo

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), representing the international airlines, has made the following statement of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines:

Statement of IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler:

“The tragedy of MH 17 is an outrage. Over the weekend it was confirmed that the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft were the victims of a hideous crime. It was also an attack against the air transport system which is an instrument of peace.

Among the immediate priorities, the bodies of the victims must be returned to their grieving loved ones in a respectful manner. For over four days we witnessed appalling sights from the crash scene. Governments must set aside their differences and treat the victims and their families with the dignity they deserve – and this includes urgently securing the site.

The investigation must also start quickly and with total freedom and access. Actions over the weekend which slowed down progress on both of these priorities were an outrage to human decency.

We have heard news of potential progress on both these issues. But promises now need to be turned into reality with actions.

Airlines and governments are partners in supporting global connectivity. Airlines carry the passengers and cargo. Governments and air navigation service providers inform airlines about the routes that they can fly and with what restrictions. Airlines comply with that guidance.

That was the case with MH 17. Malaysia Airlines was a clearly identified commercial jet. And it was shot down—in complete violation of international laws, standards and conventions—while broadcasting its identity and presence on an open and busy air corridor at an altitude that was deemed to be safe.

No effort should be spared in ensuing that this outrage is not repeated. Of course, nobody should be shooting missiles at civilian aircraft—governments or separatists. Governments will need to take the lead in reviewing how airspace risk assessments are made. And the industry will do all that it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead.

This was a terrible crime. But flying remains safe. And everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to making it even safer.”

International calls to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 increase

The crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) in the Russian-speaking rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine remains largely unsecured. The world is calling for the crash site evidence to be properly secured.

From CNN:

“Bodies, backpacks, passports and other piles of debris lay splayed across a miles-long area in the remote area in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 came down. The crash site is massive — an international observer called it “one of the biggest crime scenes in the world right now.”

“Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. Meanwhile, armed rebels have greeted international observers with hostility.
Experts say that this crash investigation is unprecedented due to the site’s immense size and the lack of access given to investigators.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia MH 17 Crash Site (Google Maps)

Google Maps above: The location of the crash site in the eastern Russian-speaking (disputed) portion of the Ukraine near Donetsk.

Malaysia MH 17 Heartfelt Message

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines today issued these two statements (and the message above) on the tragic crash of flight MH 17:

The first statement – from the Press Briefing by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport:

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH 17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.

Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.

ON THE INVESTIGATION:

Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.

Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH 17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.

Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.

Yes, MH 17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.

Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.

ON DEPLOYMENT:

Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.

The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.

I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.

ON THE FLIGHT PATH:

On the matter of MH 17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH 17.

MH 17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH 17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

The second statement from Malaysia Airlines:

Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH 17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH 17 passenger manifest for reference.

In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.

They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).

Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:

Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office) +31 20 521 62 62

Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office) +61 2 9364 3526

Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office) +62 2 1522 9705

New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office) +64 9 306 3930

United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office) +44 20 7341 2060

Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office) +49 69 1387 1980

Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office) + 63 2 889 1863

As of July 19, 2014, 5:00 pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:

Netherlands

193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia

43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia

27

Indonesia

12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom

10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany

4

Belgium

4

Philippines

3

Canada

1

New Zealand

1

Total

298

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.

MH 5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30 pm on July 18, 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30 am the same day.

The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.

Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.

Who are the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine? CNN takes a look at this question: CLICK HERE

Editorial Comment:

On a side note, it was fate that selected Malaysia Airlines to be the target for the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the rebels used recently delivered surface-to-air Russian missiles to bring down flight MH 17. Russia will have to answer for its decision to send these dangerous weapons to the Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union and a sovereign nation.

Why Eurocontrol was routing civilian airliners through this known war zone is something that will also have to be answered, especially after two Ukrainian aircraft were previously shot down by the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Air India and Singapore Airlines aircraft were also in the area at the time of the shoot down and it was fate that selected the Malaysia Airlines flight over these two flights. Fate has not been kind to Malaysia Airlines this year.

Bottom line: The remains of the ill-fated passengers need to be returned to their grieving families.

Where not to fly? The Washington Post has published this map of dangerous areas where the FAA has advised U.S. carriers not to fly: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD arrives in Los Angeles.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in the Ukraine, all feared dead

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) (since repainted) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, while operating at flight level 330 (33,000 feet) and about 50 nautical miles northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine has crashed. The airliner came down near the village of Shakhtarsk, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the crash.

The airline issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH 17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30 km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH 17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.

According to CNN:

“The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”

Read the full CNN report: CLICK HERE

Read the full updated account (with photos of the crash site) from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Read the report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD was once painted in this special “Blue Heliconia” livery but it has since been repainted.

Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD lands in Paris (CDG) in 2011 after repainting.

More information will be added as details are confirmed.

Video:

Video: This video appears to capture the moment of impact:

Video: The Russian surface-to-air missile that is believed to have been fired and taken down the Triple Seven. The missile was allegedly fired from a Russian separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine:

Wizz Air Ukraine evolves and moves its assets to Kiev and western Ukraine

Wizz Air Ukraine (Kiev) has announced a new route that will connect the Ukrainian capital of Kiev with Naples in Italy. The route will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft starting on June 14 2014.

Wizz Air (Ukraine) Kiev 3.2014 Route Map

Wizz Air Ukraine’s route network from Kiev will now consist of a total of 14 routes to six different countries.

Wizz Air (Ukraine) Donetsk 3.2014 Route Map

Meanwhile the company is suspending flights from the eastern Russian-speaking city of Donetsk (above map) in the Ukraine to Budapest, Rome (Fiumicino), Bergamo (Orio al Serio, near Milan), Larnaca and Dortmund.

Wizz Air Ukraine Lviv 3.2014 Route Map

The low-fare carrier is moving based aircraft from Donetsk to the ethnic Ukrainian city of Lvov in western Ukraine (above map) given the tension in the Ukraine between the eastern and western portions of the Ukraine.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A32-232 UR-WUA (msn 3531) approaches the runway at Antalya.

Wizz Air (Ukraine): AG Slide Show