Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stop Flying Over Ukraine

As the tragedy of MH17 unfolds, the world is now treated to accusations on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict. Both sides in Ukraine's civil war are accusing each other of shooting down the plane with a missile.

One thing is clear however; airlines are STILL flying over Ukraine.

Honestly, when I first heard the plane went down I wondered why the hell was the plane even flying in the area. Everyone knows the Ukraine is in the midst of a civil war so why was a plane carrying civilian passengers in the middle of a hot warzone.

Later I read that the route MH17 was on was a common one and that many airlines fly over the area. This is because the route is the shortest route from Europe to Southeast Asia and everyone uses it to save cost. The Sydney Morning Herald even reported that immediately after MH17's crash, four other airliners followed the exact same route and none of them re-route. These four were from Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Kazakhstan Airlines and Etihad.

I have to ask; Why the hell not? If (unconfirmed) reports are to be believed, MH17 was shot down by a missile so why aren’t airlines diverting their planes? Even right now, heavy fighting is reported to be on-going between the Ukrainian army and the rebels. Reporters at the MH17 crash site even have reported to have heard mortar fire and explosions in the area. Yet even with so such danger and unanswered questions about the crash, airlines are still using the same route MH17 was on!

Yes, the shoot down of MH17 was almost certainly an accident but if it can happen accidently once, it can happen twice. No matter the cost, airlines should avoid the area till the fighting die down. Let’s not risk another MH17. 

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