MH370: MAS awaits for plane to be declared officially lost

MH370: MAS awaits for plane to be declared officially lost

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines is waiting for flight MH370, which went missing on March 8, to be officially declared lost so that compensation can be worked out for the next-of-kin of passengers.

MAS Airline Director Hugh Dunleavy urged the families of the passengers on board the flight to be patient as compensation details are being worked out.

"We don't have a final date but once we have an official loss recorded we can work with the next of kin on the full compensation payments for those families," Dunleavy was quoted as saying in the New Zealand Herald.

MH370 left KLIA at 12.41am on March 8 with 14 crew members and 227 passengers from 14 different nations. The plane lost contact with air traffic control between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace at 1.20am.

The Boeing 777 then turned back towards the Straits of Malacca and is believed to have "ended" in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.

Dunleavy said the Montreal Convention had set the ceiling on compensation at around US$175,000 (S$226,000) although passengers could take legal action to pursue higher compensation.

"We will ensure we do compensate them for the loss of their loved ones through our insurers," he said.

"We are trying to hurry (compensation) it up as much as we can but some of these things are outside the scope of the airline itself.

"If they're not happy with the compensation then they seek legal advice and move ahead, then once they come in our people will assess them and respond," he added.

Dunleavy said compensating the relatives of those on board flight MH17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine was more straightforward as they knew what happened to the aircraft.

He was confident that the crew had nothing to do with the incident that has been dubbed the greatest aviation mystery by many.

"All of the crew on MH370 have been investigated by the various security agencies and as far as I'm aware nothing has turned up that is untoward.

"We do not believe it is anything to do with how we process or recruit staff, in fact those on board the aircraft had been with us for many years. We believe there was nothing related to the crew but we will not know 100 per cent until we have access to the black box," he said.

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