POSTED: July 28th 2014
NewsUpdate

Sports Travel: Korean Airlines not taking chances over contentious areas

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) According to the Wall Street Journal among the few airline carriers who had stopped flying over the eastern Ukraine preceding the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines. This decision was made in early March by the airlines own internal risk-assessment divisions. The airlines stated this was because of security concerns after their risk-assessment divisions gathered around the clock information. They were assessing potential threats to their aircrafts. The information was used to advise them of possible route changes and ways to ensure the aircrafts safety.

Korean Air was also among the first to suspend service to Tel Aviv. This was prior to the rocket attack near the Israeli city’s airport, which stimulated the ban on flights to that airport by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and an safety warning was dispensed by the European air-safety regulators.

Korean Air appears to be approaching their risk assessments conservatively and Korean Air Spokesman Seo Dong-il commented about this saying, “Passenger safety comes before anything else. We don’t compromise safety for profit.”

Korean Air stated that they have no other routes currently, as they are avoiding conflict zones around the world. Less than 40 kilometers from the border of North Korea, which is substantially armed, lays Korean Air’s base in Seoul. Thus the airlines regularly avoid the North Korean airspace.

The Ukrainian aviation authorities gave notices to the airmen or sequences of warnings, as stated by an official at Seoul’s Transport Ministry an aviation regulator. This applied to the southern area of Ukraine, Crimea airspace that has been annexed by Russia due to the insecurity over the control of airspace. The notice that Korean Air received did not apply to the rebel possessed area where Flight 17 was shot down.

“According to the ICAO regulations, the aviation authority in any conflict-zone is responsible for issuing a warning to ICAO member nations. So, we just relay such a warning to our airlines. It’s up to them whether to suspend routes or find other paths,” ministry official said.

This statement was is reply to the warning that was issued in April to all airlines to avoid the southern Ukraine airspace due to the unrest by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Korean Air has been opposing those comparing the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Korean Air Flight 007 that was also shot down, but by Soviet fighters in September 1983, which occurred after the airline, had drifted into Soviet airspace.

The Airline stated, “There’s no connection whatsoever between the two accidents.”


Keywords · Korean Air · Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 · Ukraine · ICAO · Asiana Airlines


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