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Malaysia Airlines Re-Routes Flight Away from Ukraine to Over Syria

FlightRadar 24, a company which tracks the locations of commercial jets worldwide in real time, tweeted this photo out earlier today, depicting the flight path of Malaysia Airlines flight MH4. The London-Kuala Lumpur route traditionally flies through Eastern Ukraine, but following the crash of its sister plane MH17, the flight decided to take a safer route…

…over Syria.

The terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) controls vast swaths of Syria, and possess anti-aircraft missiles. Experts agree that it’s highly unlikely that ISIS has a surface-to-air missile system capable of taking down a passenger jet flying at 33,000 feet, much less that they could operate one. But aviation authorities around the world, including the FAA, have “strongly discouraged” planes from flying over Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other disputed areas, just to be safe.

It doesn’t stop planes from routinely flying over conflict zones, mostly because indirect flight paths lead to millions of dollars’ worth of extra jet fuel. While multiple airlines are claiming that they’ve avoided Ukrainian airspace for months, FlightRadar 24 notes that they’ve actually flown through it multiple times up until the MH17 disaster. “We think that an airline concerned about its safety reputation should not lie to customers,” they wrote in a Facebook post.

According to Malay Mail, a spokesman for the company did not immediately return comment.

[Malay Mail]
[Image via screenshot/FlightRadar24]

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