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Was Maylaysian Airliner Flying over Combat Zone to Save Fuel?

Aircraft map - Showing Ukraine no-fly zone
Aircraft map – Showing Ukraine no-fly zone (Courtesy flyersrights.org)

The website Flyer’s Rights.org tackles this scary, often re-occuring issue.

According to new data unearthed by the world’s leading advocate of airliner passengers, FlyersRights.org  recently published a report showing that not only was the doomed airliner flying over what was considered  a “combat zone” but was doing so to save fuel.

And,  due to computer  practices called “codesharing,”  many passengers didn’t know it.

The U.S.  FAA issued a warning about the fighting and unrest in the Ukrainian -Russian area some time ago.  According to Flyers Rights:

“On May 3rd, the FAA issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting flight operations in Ukrainian airspace “over the Crimean Peninsula and the associated Ukrainian territorial sea, as well as international airspace managed by Ukraine over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.”

Flyer’s Rights continues:

“Aviation experts said that the reason some airlines continued to fly over Ukraine despite the warnings were because it offered a shorter route that saved fuel. Malaysian officials denied that was their motive.

Joshua Marks, CEO of aviation-data firm masFlight, calculated that flying over Ukraine instead of around the country saved Malaysia Airlines up to $1,500 per flight in fuel, or 2 percent, and shaved about 10 minutes off the trip.”

Officials say that most passengers don’t closely study, or look into the flight paths of the routes they will be taking when flying over the Middle East, Russia, or other Eastern countries. If they did, or knew the route they were taking, some of them might have changed their minds.   Codesharing is a computer process whereby several airlines combine to share data, flight paths, and information, but  it’s not readily released to the public.

According to Flyer’s Rights officials:

“Many people don’t realize that flying to Southeast Asia, China, etc. from Europe often means flights over Russia or former Soviet states or the Middle East. With conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, and Afghanistan this is becoming much more dangerous.

Modern missiles possessed by many nations can easily shoot down commercial airliners flying at 30,000+ feet, accidentally or on purpose (e.g. the USS Vincennes shooting down an Iranian Airliner over the Persian Gulf in July 1988, that many think resulted in the retaliation bombing of Pan Am 103 in December killing over 550 total).”

Extreme criticism is now being leveled at Maylaysian Airlines, because of course they are also the parent to the still missing Flight 370, which sadly, has faded from the news.

The picture with this story shows the red circled area where the FAA enacted the “no-fly” zone over Ukraine and how how most airlines were avoiding that war-torn area.

 

 

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