Malaysia Airlines to hold private ceremony on Sunday to mark MH370 anniversary

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will observe the one-year-anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370 on Sunday with a private ceremony.

The airline also pledged to continue focusing on the welfare of the next-of-kin of passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight.

Group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the disappearance of MH370 had left a deep and lasting impact on the airline's business and reputation, but MAS was thankful to the Government and its many international friends who continue to support the ongoing search for the missing aircraft.

"Short of the answers all the families want, the welfare of the next-of-kin has been at the centre of every action MAS has taken as a company since we first learnt of the plane's disappearance.

"This support will continue beyond the anniversary," Ahmad Jauhari said in a statement.

MAS has so far provided direct financial assistance, a dedicated Family Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Family Assistance Centres in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and other care-giver counselling support for the next-of-kin.

On Sunday's private ceremony, Ahmad Jauhari said MAS would use the occasion "to remind ourselves and the relevant authorities of the duty and moral obligations to pursue the search for a final conclusion."

He said families of the MH370 MAS crew members have expressed that any ceremony that they were invited to participate in should be away from the glare of the media.

"We earnestly ask all to accord due care, respect and responsibility as we remember MH370," said Ahmad Jauhari, adding that all MAS employees were invited to attend the ceremony.

He said MAS wanted to find all of the answers which the victims' families wanted, but that it could not provide them on its own.

"We view the search in the Indian Ocean from afar, just like everyone else, as it is coordinated by Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre. We cannot dictate when or from whom the new information will come."

"However, MAS remains hopeful that the search and investigation will find the answers that all of the next-of-kin are longing for."

On March 1, MAS introduced the #alwaysinMyHeart hashtag with an accompanying photograph of a badge adorned with the familiar batik pattern of the airline's crew uniform. MAS said it would also produce a digital badge bearing the same design as the #alwaysinMyHeart ribbon for the anniversary.