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Taiwan airlines avoid Ukrainian airspace as safety precaution
Central News Agency
2014-07-18 10:59 AM
Taipei, July 18 (CNA) Aviation authorities in Taiwan said Friday that one of Taiwan's two major air carriers will now steer clear of Ukrainian airspace, following the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane in that area Thursday, while the other had already stopped using that route. Lee Wan-lee, deputy director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), said EVA Airways will now take a more southerly route on its flights between Taiwan and its European destinations. This will mean an additional 20 minutes flying time but lower safety risks, according to the airline. China Airlines, meanwhile, had already stopped using Ukrainian airspace since early this year in the interest of safety after conflicts erupted in Ukraine, Lee said. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jetliner en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was apparently shot down Thursday over eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia, killing all 298 passengers on board. Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said that based on initial information from local tour operators, there were no Taiwanese tour groups on board the ill-fated flight MH17. Citing a U.S. official, international new agencies reported that American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought down the aircraft but had not yet established whether it was fired from the Russian or Ukrainian side of the border. (By Wang Shu-fen and Jay Chen)
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