Malaysia Airlines says no reason to think crew caused jet's disappearance

BEIJING Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:44am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Malaysia Airlines' executive said on Wednesday that the airline has "no reason to believe" that any actions by the crew caused the disappearance of a jetliner over the weekend.

The search for the jetliner, which vanished on a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, expanded further into the Andaman and South China Seas on Wednesday, with authorities no closer to explaining what happened to the plane or the 239 people on board.

With no concrete evidence to explain the plane's disappearance, authorities have not ruled out anything.

Police have said they were investigating whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery, along with the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or mechanical failure.

Hugh Dunleavy, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, said the captain in charge of the flight was a very seasoned pilot with an excellent record.

"There have been absolutely no implications that we are aware of that there was anything untoward in either his behavior or attitude," Dunleavy told Reuters in an interview.

"We have no reason to believe that there was anything, any actions, internally by the crew that caused the disappearance of this aircraft."

Dunleavy said he was skeptical of a report by a South African woman who said the co-pilot of the missing plane, Farid Ab Hamid, had invited her and a female travelling companion to sit in the cockpit during a flight two years ago, in an apparent breach of security.

"Because just getting into that area requires you to go through the secure doors that we have in the cabin all the time," he said.

"And not only would that have been unusual, but it also would have meant you'd have to walk by our cabin crew as well, and have the code to get through. So I'm dubious, but I'm going to let the authorities investigate and tell us what happened."

The airline earlier said it was taking seriously the report by the woman, Jonti Roos, who said in an interview with Australia's Channel Nine TV that she and her friend were invited to fly in the cockpit by Fariq and the pilot of a flight between Phuket, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur in December 2011.

The TV channel showed pictures of the four apparently in a plane's cockpit.

The airline will give $5,000 per passenger to cover hotel expenses of relatives awaiting news, Dunleavy added.

The relatives, who have been staying at hotels near a Beijing airport since the plane went missing on Saturday, have angrily accused the airline of keeping them in the dark. Malaysia Airlines said at least 152 of the 227 passengers on flight MH370 were Chinese.

(Writing by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Alex Richardson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
Bradway wrote:
Perhaps it would be worth while considering a scenario which happened quite some time ago when I lived in Perth Western Australia. It would have been late 1999 or possibly early 2001.
A carter flight left Perth with a compliment of fly in fly out personnel to a mine site in the north of the state. It did not arrive at it’s destination, but it was later found in the far north of Queensland, many hundreds of kilometers from it’s original destination.
The problem was I think from memory, something to do with lack of oxygen, the pilot and his passengers all went to sleep as it were and because the aircraft was in Auto Pilot it obviously used up the fuel and then crashed, killing everybody on board.
I assume that all possibilities are being studied, but unfortunately to date nothing concrete has emerged, only a lot of supposition.
I hope very soon that the puzzle will be solved and all those poor relations and friends of Crew and passengers will at least if ever possible come to terms with their very sad loss.
God bless you all.

Mar 12, 2014 5:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Leo_F wrote:
The Malaysian spokesperson said:
“… that the airline has “no reason to believe” that any actions by the crew caused the disappearance of a jetliner over the weekend.”
Well, wouldn’t the fact that the transponders stopped transmitting but the plane continued to fly, wouldn’t that give you reason to believe that the transponder was turned off inside the plane?
The Malaysian airline seems to be more interested in protecting itself from lawsuits than being candid.

Mar 12, 2014 12:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lola26 wrote:
why talk now? this is not what grieving families need! more info on her here

Mar 12, 2014 6:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.