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UNWTO Shocked By Tragic Loss Of Malaysia Airlines Flight

Malaysia_Airlines_logo“The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is deeply shocked by the tragic crash of Malaysia Airline flight MH17. On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” an announcement by the UNWTO read.

Malaysia Airlines plane, with 298 people on board, went down in eastern Ukraine on 17 July. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

“We are appalled by this horrible crash and I would like to, on behalf of UNWTO, reiterate the call by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, of a full international investigation into the disaster,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the toll of victims by nationality: 193 Dutch, 27 Australians, 43 Malaysians (including the 15 crew and two infants), 12 Indonesians (including one infant), 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines, one Canadian and one New Zealander. Many of the victims were scientists, researchers and other delegates on their way to a key AIDS conference in Melbourne.

According to Travelmole, flight paths over eastern Ukraine have been closed until further notice.

Several airlines including Malaysia Airlines, Air France, Delta, Lufthansa and Wizz Air said they would now avoid Ukraine airspace. British Airways said its flights were not using Ukrainian airspace, with the exception of its daily service between Heathrow and Kiev.

Malaysia Airlines retires MH17 flight number

“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,” a recent announcement on the airline’s website said.

This will take into effect on 25 July 2014.

According to the airline, there are no changes to the frequency of its services and daily services between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur will continue to operate.

The new flight number replacing MH17 will be: MH19 – AMS/KUL

“Our thoughts and prayers remains with the families of our colleagues and passengers of MH 17,” Malaysia Airlines said.

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