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By Adam Rose
BEIJING, March 12 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
behaviour 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
Dunleavy said he was sceptical 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
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)