Saturday, June 21, 2014

Global Impact: Malaysia Airlines' Underwriter Issues Initial Payouts to Handful of Families

According to, family members of those aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are receiving initial compensation, more than three months after the Boeing 777’s disappearance.

Payments of 37,000 euros (US$50,327.40) are being issued by the airline’s insurer. Six Malaysian families and one Chinese family have received initial payments thus far. The claims of some 40 other families are being assessed.

Families of all the missing passengers and crew are eligible.

Malaysian deputy foreign minister Hamzah Zainudin has insisted that in order for full compensation to be made “we have to wait until we announce the issue on the tragedy that MH370 is over."

More than 150 of the 239 people on the plane, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, were from China with many relatives refusing payment, many of whom believe that the focus should remain on getting more answers to the source of the disaster, given MH's lack of transparency. 

COMMENT: With so few details on what actually happened to MH370, it seems very strange that so many families have refused payment and understandably so.

Amid ongoing claims of a cover-up, families are also attempting to raise 3.7 million dollars to pay for a reward for information about the plane’s disappearance.

With his wife and two of his children on board MH370, Frenchman Guislain Wattrelos told French radio this week that he was convinced the Boeing 777 had been hijacked and believed “something is being hidden from us."

In a related development, Australia has brought in a subsidy of Dutch-owned Fugro to map the sea bed around where the airliner is believed to have crashed.

The firm says it will use its advanced survey vessel, "Fugro Equator," fitted with state-of-the art multi-beam echo-sounder equipment," in an area that is “relatively uncharted."

The next phase of the search, which will be handed over from the military to the private sector and is expected to begin in August 2014, and take up to a year, covering some 60,000 square-miles of ocean. 

Fugro was selected by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The aircraft search is already the most expensive in global aviation history.