Cyclist will still fly MAS after two near misses

PETALING JAYA - Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge cheated death twice after he made last-minute changes to his flight tickets - for MH370 and MH17.

The 29-year-old, who is a member of the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), told Dutch televison station RTV Oost that he changed his MH17 ticket to another date.

De Jonge, who comes from Oldenzaal, said he was also supposed to board MAS Flight MH370 on March 8 for a competition in Taiwan but changed to another flight to avoid the transit.

"It's hard to believe," he said.

"I grieve for the passengers and their families but I'm grateful that I did not get on those flights," he said.

MH370 disappeared from radar and neither the plane nor anyone on board have been found as yet.

De Jonge said he would fly MAS when he returns to Malaysia via Frankfurt. "I've no worries about it."

De Jonge said he was overwhelmed by the number of responses he got when news broke out that he had changed his flight.

"What happened is terrible; so many victims. That's a horrible thing," he said.

"I am happy for myself and my family after these two incidents."

"However, my story is nothing compared to the misery faced by the families in this tragic incident.Attention should be paid to these families.

"I wish everyone affected by this disaster to be strong," he added.