BANGKOK, July 18 — Thai Airways International (THAI) acted Friday to avoid flying over Ukrainian airspace after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed a day earlier, THAI officials said.
They said Thailand’s national flag carrier made the decision to revise its flight routes to Europe by avoiding the Ukrainian airspace for safety reasons of its passengers following Thursday’s incident in which Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was reportedly shot down and crashed near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine.
Reports by international wire services quoted the Ukrainian government saying that the jetliner was shot down in a “terrorist act,” while comments attributed to a pro-Russia rebel chief suggested his men may have downed the plane by mistake, believing it was a Ukrainian army transport aircraft.
THAI officials said the airline would try to reach destinations in Europe on time despite revised flight path.
However, it also depended on weather conditions and air traffic, they said.
Senior officials of state enterprises under the Transport Ministry, meanwhile, attended a meeting chaired by Soithip Trisuddhi, permanent secretary for transport.
Ms Soithip ordered the officials, especially those of THAI and the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand to check on details as to whether THAI flew over Ukrainian airspace where the MH17 was shot down.
She also instructed THAI to inform the public if there were any route adjustments in order to create confidence among the passengers.