MH17 crash: MAS retires flight number out of respect

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is set to retire flight number MH17 out of respect for the crew and passengers who were perished in the ill-fated flight that was reportedly shot down by separatist.

"In light of the recent incident, Malaysia Airlines' Amsterdam (AMS) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL) service, MH17 flight number will be retired out of respect for our crew and passengers of the mentioned flight code.

"There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate daily services between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur," said the press statement sent by MAS on Sunday.

The new flight number replacing MH17 will be MH19 and this will take into effect on July 25.

MH17 disappeared from radar screens in eastern Ukraine at around 1415 GMT on Thursday, hours after taking off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport bound for Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 777 is believed to have been shot down 50km from the Ukraine-Russia border. All 298 passengers and crew on board, including 44 Malaysians, are believed to have perished.