| The following media statement issued by the Malaysian Airline
1. Flight plan
( July 18, 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka Guardian) MH17’s flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, who are solely responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace. Eurocontrol is the air navigation service provider for Europe and is governed under ICAO rules.
The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine.
In April, the International Civil Aviation Organization identified an area over the Crimean peninsula as risky. At no point did MH17 fly into, or request to fly into, this area. At all times, MH17 was in airspace approved by the ICAO.
MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude.
However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.
Following this afternoon’s press conference, Malaysia Airlines can confirm that a further 16 passengers’ nationalities have been verified. The latest breakdown of nationalities of those on board the flight is as follows:
· 189 Netherlands
· 44 Malaysia
· 27 Australia
· 12 Indonensia
· 9 UK
· 4 Belgium
· 4 Germany
· 3 Philippines
· 1 Canada
· 1 New Zealand
Four passengers’ nationalities remain to be verified.
4. New flight route
Following this incident, Malaysia Airlines now avoids Ukrainian airspace entirely, flying further south over Turkey.