Friday, March 7, 2014

Global Impact: Malaysian Airlines Boeing B777-200 Carrying 239 Souls Disappears on Flight from KL to Beijing

According to Reuters, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members suddenly disappeared at en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing lost contact with air traffic controllers early on Saturday (March 8).

The Malaysian flight was scheduled to land in Beijing at 0630 hours on Saturday. Given the lapse of so many hours since the Malaysian flight was scheduled to arrive, the carrier, at this point, reportedly disappeared while in Vietnam airspace.

"We deeply regret that we have lost all contact with flight MH370," Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement. 

COMMENT: An official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said the aircraft had failed to check in as scheduled at 1721 hours GMT while it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City. 

China's official Xinhua news agency also quoted the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as saying the flight lost contact while flying through Vietnamese airspace.

The CAAC said 158 Chinese nationals were on board the plane. China's aviation regulators said they had not received any signals from the plane and that there had been no reports of any aircraft crashing in Chinese waters.

If the plane is found to have crashed, the loss would mark the second fatal accident involving a Boeing 777 in less than a year, after an unblemished safety record since the jet entered service in 1995.

Last summer, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash-landed in San Francisco, killing three passengers.

Boeing said it was aware of reports that the Malaysia Airlines plane was missing and was monitoring the situation but had no further comment.

Malaysia Airlines said it was contacting the families of those on board flight MH370 and had set up support facilities for those affected.

Distressed family members of those on board had also begun gathering at Beijing airport on Saturday.

This report will be updated as soon as Flight MH370 is located.