KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama) — Days before the first anniversary of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, the carrier said it remains hopeful that the search and investigation will find the answers everybody longs for.
MAS will observe the anniversary with a private remembrance on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur with the next-of-kin of the MH370 crew and MAS staff.
“We mark the occasion to remember our dear colleagues and friends on the ill-fated flight … the families of the crew members have expressed a wish that any remembrance they participate in would be a private occasion.
“We’ll use the occasion to remind ourselves and the relevant authorities of the obligations – duty and moral obligations – to pursue the search for answers to a final conclusion,” the airline said in a statement.
The MAS Boeing 777 was carrying 239 people when it vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014. MAS lost 12 crew members as well as a MASkargo staff.
On Jan 29, the Malaysian government officially declared it an accident under international aviation rules, and that all 239 people aboard were presumed to have lost their lives.
In making that announcement, the Malaysian government also stressed that the search for the plane remained a priority.
Knowing that not every employee would be able to attend Sunday’s private get-together, MAS said it would distribute a batik pin to its employees as a symbol of their remembrance of the friends they lost.
“We’ll produce a digital badge of the same design and the hashtag ‘Always in my heart’,” said the carrier which is currently undertaking a recovery plan to revive its fortunes.
Besides MH370, MAS MH17 en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down over troubled eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, killing all 298 people on board.
In less than six months, MAS experienced two tragic incidents, lost more than 500 lives and nearly 30 members of its senior crew in what can only be described as unprecedented events in aviation history.
The Malaysian carrier noted that the anniversary on Sunday was significant as events surrounding MH370 had left a deep and lasting impact on its business and reputation.
“But, more importantly, we also lost dear friends that day,” it said, adding that short of the answers all the affected families wanted, the welfare of the next-of-kin had been the centre of every action MAS had taken as a company since it first learned that the flight had disappeared.
“We cannot provide the answers ourselves. We’ve supported the investigation but we do not direct it nor do we know its outcome.
“We view the search in the Indian Ocean from afar, just like everyone else … we cannot dictate when or from whom new information will come,” MAS said in the statement.
The carrier pointed out that it had provided direct financial assistance, a dedicated Family Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur, family assistance centres in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, and other counselling support. This, MAS said, would continue beyond the anniversary.