Malaysia Airlines to send out SMS blasts to families

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will begin sending out SMS blasts with brief updates to the families of the passengers and crew onboard MH370.

MAS said it has also set up an e-mail address for family members as a means for them to communicate with the national carrier.

It added that updates are also available via the MAS website.

"Considering these challenges, our caregivers have informed the family members of the missing passengers and crew that we have taken the decision to continue to provide information and assistance through the further enhanced Family Support Centre (FSC) based in Kuala Lumpur which has been operational since March 8, 2014," said MAS.

It added that the FSC will be open round-the-clock and will house trained family support representatives to assist the family members seeking further information.

It said the representatives will be divided into four shifts with 10 staff members handling each shift.

"This will ensure that someone is available to attend to the families at all times. The centre will also have Mandarin-speaking personnel," said MAS.

MAS said it has also set up toll-free numbers in eight different countries for families to be kept updated.

It said family members have always been briefed first, followed by the media and the public when new information surfaces.

However, it added that conflicting information and wild speculations have caused major distress to the families.

"MAS continues to work closely with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international agencies during this critical and traumatic period.

"Our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew," said the airline.