Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident – Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Saturday, March 22, 05:59 PM MYT +0800

22 03 2014

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

1. Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar.

With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search.

HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

2. Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest.

Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today.

Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas.

A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

3. Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes.

I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened.

We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them.

We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

4. Transcript

The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed.

As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

5. Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course.

Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance.

As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

6. Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.

Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis.

I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government.

I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370.

As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.





Malaysia Airlines’s 14th Media Statement On Flight MH370 Incident – March 12, 1:00 PM MYT +0800

12 03 2014

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines.

We have deployed teams of caregivers consisting of trained MAS staff and volunteers from Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Foundation. These caregivers are stationed at five different locations at Beijing and four different locations in Kuala Lumpur.

As of now, we have 115 family members in Kuala Lumpur and they are taken care of by 72 different caregivers. At least one caregiver is assigned to each family together with a Mandarin translator for the families from China.

The caregivers have been keeping the families updated on the search and rescue efforts as well as provide emotional support.

Equal amount of initial financial assistance are being given out to all families of passengers and crew over and above their basic needs. This amount is extended to families of all crew and passengers in Malaysia as well those from other nations.

We regret and empathise with the families and we will do whatever we can to ease their burden. We are as anxious as the families to know the status of their loved ones.





Malaysia Airlines’s 13th Media Statement On MH370 Flight Incident – March 11, 11:30 PM MYT +0800

12 03 2014

Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer, Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations.

We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.

We also urge the media and general public to respect the privacy of the families of our colleagues and passengers. It has been a difficult time for them.

The welfare of both the crew and passenger’s families remain our focus. At the same time, the security and safety of our passengers is of the utmost importance to us.





Malaysia Airlines 12th Media Statement On MH370 Flight Incident – March 11, 5:29 PM MYT +0800

12 03 2014

This statement is in reference to the many queries on the alleged five (5) passengers who checked-in but did not board MH370 on 8 March 2014 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing despite having valid tickets to travel.

Malaysia Airlines wishes to clarify that there were four (4) passengers who had valid booking to travel on flight MH370, 8 March 2014, but did not show up to check-in for the flight.

As such, the issue of off-loading unaccompanied baggage did not arise, as the said four passengers did not check in for the flight. Hence, the above claim is untrue.





Malaysia Airlines 10th Media Statement on MH370 Flight Incident – March 10, 05:30 PM MYT +0800

10 03 2014

The purpose of this statement is to update on emergency response activities at Malaysia Airlines.

On notification of the incident the following steps have been taken by Malaysia Airlines:-

 

The EOC

  • Activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the early morning of 8 March 2014. The EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management functions at the strategic level during a disaster

  • In addition to the EOC, various departments of Malaysia Airlines are also addressing to all the different needs during this crisis

 

Family Management

·         Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia, as well as with the immigration of Malaysia on the issuance of their visas into Malaysia.

·         Once the Response Coordination Centre is operational, we will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.

·         Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on 11 March 2014.

·         When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established within the vicinity to support the needs of the families. This has been communicated specifically to the families.

·         Our oneworld partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.

 

Search and Rescue

  • Malaysia Airlines has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport

  • DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.

We also want to address a few common queries from the media.

We are receiving many queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets. We are unable to comment on this matter as this is a security issue. We can however confirm that we have given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.

We also confirm that we are making necessary arrangements for MH370 passengers’ families from Beijing to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, flight details of the families’ arrival into are highly confidential. This is to protect the privacy and well-being of the families during this difficult time and to respect their space. Our position is not to reveal any information on the flight or movements of the families.

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines.

All other Malaysia Airlines’ flights are as per schedule. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been and will continue to be of utmost importance to us.

The airline continues to work with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international parties and agencies during this critical and difficult time.

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that it will continue to be transparent in communicating with the general public via the media in all matters affecting MH370.

Please note translation for this statement to Chinese language is in progress.








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