After the news of Malaysian Airlines jet that was carrying 298 people was shot down by a surface-to-air missile yesterday in Eastern Ukraine, you must be asking yourself that the country has been crisis torn for months and yet International airlines did not took the precaution of avoiding the risky route. Well, following are a few reasons that kept the airlines from taking the precaution:
– Aviation authorities had advised airlines to fly over the altitude of 32000 feet as it requires highly sophisticated weaponry to target planes above that altitude. Planes only flying higher than the said altitude were cleared by Ukraine’s local authorities also. The targeted Malaysian Airlines jet was flying at 33000 feet when it was hit.
– Mikael Robertsson, co-founder of FlightRadar24 is of the opinion that at such an high altitude there is usually no risk which is evident from the fact that Malaysian Airlines has flown over the Ukrainian airspace several times during the past few weeks without any such incident. Also at the time when Malaysian jet was hit, it was accompanied by two other passenger planes of Air India and Singapore Airlines.
– It is highly unfeasible for airlines to avoid Ukraine as it falls in the middle of a common direct route between Europe and Southeast Asia. In the event of taking a diversion to avoid Ukrainian airspace, the airline has to bear with higher costs and a higher probability of delays along the route.
– According to some reports in the media, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, and Transaero have announced they will divert flights to avoid eastern Ukraine.