Malaysia Airlines management has a lot to answer for
To save money, they deliberately took a risk which will now undoubtedly destroy their airline. I think the responsibility for this tragedy now lies entirely with the airline. The rebels were entitled to attack Ukrainian aircraft after Ukrainian aircraft had attacked them. And they were known to fire on Ukrainian aircraft. The BUK missile system was first deployed in 1979 so the version used by the rebels may have been rather primitive, with little capacity to distinguish an airliner from a Ukrainian transport aircraft
Two cabin crew swapped shifts so they would not be on the doomed Malaysian airliner downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine, after raising concerns about the safety of flying over the war zone.
Other senior pilots and cabin crew had flagged up fears about the flightpath in the weeks leading up to the tragedy, although Malaysia Airlines last night denied ignoring crew concerns.
Some staff are reported to have refused to fly over the airspace where the passenger airliner was downed because they deemed it to be too volatile and dangerous, especially after two Ukrainian planes, a fighter jet and a transport aircraft, were shot down by rebels.
According to well-placed Malaysia Airlines sources, at least two cabin crew swapped shifts so they would not be on MH17, specifically because they were worried about the flightpath. The Mail on Sunday has been told worried pilots consulted air traffic controllers in Malaysia and also made an informal approach to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). But still Malaysia Airlines did not divert the route, unlike other carriers.
British Airways as well as all US airlines, Lufthansa, Air France and Qantas, were already avoiding the war zone in Ukraine, adding an extra 20 minutes’ flight time, and there is growing pressure on Malaysia Airlines to explain why it did not follow suit.
Asiana Airlines, another company avoiding the war zone, said: ‘Although the detour adds to flight time and cost, we have been making the detour for safety.’