KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) will make advanced compensation payments to the next-of-kin of passengers on board MH370 soon.
MAS group chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the payments would be made to individuals entitled to claim compensation, in order to meet their immediate economic needs.
"Such advanced payments will not affect the rights of the next-of-kin to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, and will be calculated as part of the final compensation," he said in a statement yesterday.
He added that immediately after the next-of-kin have returned home, the airline's representatives will be in touch with them at the earliest opportunity to initiate the advanced compensation payment process.
Jauhari also revealed that in line with this adjustment, MAS will be closing all of its Family Assistance Centres around the world by May 7.
"We will keep in close touch with the families on news updates through telephone calls, messages, the Internet and face-to-face meetings," he said.
He added that with support from the government, the airline's Family Support Centres will be established in Kuala Lumpur and in Beijing.
"The detailed plan of follow-up support and services will be informed in person to the families," he said.
Jauhari said despite intensive search operations, probably the largest one in human history, the hard reality has to be faced, that there is still no trace of the aircraft, and the fate of the missing passengers and crew remains unknown till this day.