July 19, 2014 00:00 By SUCHAT SRITAMA THE NATION 5,268 Viewed
Thai Airways International flights to and from Europe have been re-routed to avoid Ukrainian airspace after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was apparently shot down.
THAI’s decision followed the second major disaster to strike Malaysia Airlines this year. MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard. Foreign news agencies reported that there were no Thais on board.
Another Malaysia Airlines plane, MH370, mysteriously disappeared in March.
A representative of Thai Airways said it was operating all flights to and from Europe as normal, but many flights had been shifted to safer routes. The airline flies to 13 destinations in 11 Europe countries.
“There are no flight delays or cancellations,” the source said.
Ukraine did not declare itself as a war zone, so airlines were able to fly through its airspace.
According to the source, routes can be adjusted day by day because of weather conditions as well as unexpected incidents and advice from air-traffic controllers on the ground. Re-routing may be costly for the airline or may help reduce operating costs due to traffic conditions.
It has been reported that travel agencies around the world have cancelled their bookings with Malaysia Airlines after the tragedy while many tourists have been advised to postpone their trips.
AirAsia Group, the Malaysian operator of low-cost airlines AirAsia and AirAsia X, has decided to postpone a news presentation scheduled to take place in South Korea next week in the wake of the disaster. AirAsia X added Bangkok-Korea and Bangkok-Japan routes to its network last month.