PAL: We don't fly over Ukraine airspace

Posted at 07/18/14 4:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Friday assured its passengers that it does not fly over Ukrainian airspace.

This after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers, including three Filipinos, on board.

PAL, which flies direct from Manila to London, said it strictly follows regulations on flight paths.

"We comply with all safety advisories covering allowed flight routes, areas of restriction or conflict areas, and all other related matters governing flight paths," PAL said in a statement.

The flag carrier noted that its Manila-London, London-Manila flights do not go anywhere near Ukraine or its territory. The flight route, which covers Southeast Asia, the Indian continent, Turkey, Middle East and Europe "is nowhere near the no-fly zone areas," PAL said.

PAL also expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of the MH17 tragedy, and offered prayers for them.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported a number of other Asian carriers had already stopped flying over Ukraine's airspace months ago because of security concerns.

South Korea's two main airlines, Korean Air and Asiana, as well as Australia's Qantas and Taiwan's China Airlines said they had all re-routed flights from as early as the beginning of March when Russian troops moved into Crimea.

"We stopped flying over Ukraine because of safety concerns," Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyo-Min said.

Korean Air moved its flight paths 250 kilometers (160 miles) south of Ukraine from March 3 "due to the political unrest in the region", an official for the carrier told AFP.

A Qantas spokeswoman said its London to Dubai service used to fly over Ukraine, but the route was changed "several months ago", while Taiwan's China Airlines diverted its flights from April 3. - With Agence France-Presse