Malaysia Airlines is defending its decision to fly planes over eastern Ukraine after MH17, a commercial airplane carrying 298 people, was shot down on Thursday.
Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director for Malaysia Airlines, gave various reasons for why the airline shouldn’t be blamed in an interview with Sky News.
Some of the reasons include that the airline has been using the flight path “for quite some time,” there have been no prior incidents, air traffic control said it was safe to fly, it was something “totally extraordinary,” and that it could have been any other plane.
Everyone on-board was killed, including one American. (RELATED: Passenger Makes Eerie Facebook Post Before Boarding Downed Malaysia Airlines Plane)
“This was something totally extraordinary, it could just as easily have been the aircraft ahead of Malaysia Airlines or the aircraft behind that was hit,” Dunleavy said.
While there hadn’t been prior incidents with commercial aircraft, three Ukrainian military aircraft were shot down in the region a week before.
Ukraine closed all airspace in the east after MH17 was shot down. (RELATED: Obama Speaks About Downed Malaysia Airlines Plane: ‘Looks Like It May Be A Terrible Tragedy’)
Malaysia Airlines dominated the news earlier this year when Flight 370, a commercial airplane, went missing over the Indian Ocean. The plane has not been found. (RELATED: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Pilot Considered Prime Suspect In Potential Hijacking)