MAS condemns news report, author for stories on alleged flight over Iceland volcano, MH370

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has condemned an Internet news report and the author of a book for publishing stories relating to flights MH131 and the ill-fated MH370, labelling them "amateurish" and "fraudulent" respectively. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has condemned an Internet news report and the author of a book for publishing stories relating to flights MH131 and the ill-fated MH370, labelling them "amateurish" and "fraudulent" respectively. -- PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has condemned an Internet news report and the author of a book for publishing stories relating to flights MH131 and the ill-fated MH370, labelling them "amateurish" and "fraudulent" respectively.

It said the website worldnewsdaily.com published an article titled "Malaysia Airlines Flight Forced Into Emergency Landing After Flying Over Icelandic" on Sept 15, saying that flight MH131 from Paris to New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after the B-777 aircraft flew almost directly over the active Bardarbunga volcano.

In a press statement, MAS said it was deeply troubled by the irresponsible article and amateurish reporting, urging the public not to be fooled by such blatant lies.

"MAS feels compelled to bring such glaring falsehoods to the attention of the public.

"It is widely known that MAS operates the Kuala Lumpur/Paris/Kuala Lumpur sector utilising its A380 aircraft. The airline does not fly onwards to New York, or any other American destinations.

"Given recent tragedies, and despite the suffering of all, we believe that such stories only serve one purpose, that is to fuel conjecture, misunderstanding and instil fear among the travelling public. Whatever the motive behind the story, it does not represent the ethos of ethical and factual journalism," it said.

MAS has urged the authorities to block such irresponsible news portals and hold all those responsible for the article accountable.

MAS also stated that they were aware of news articles on a book claiming to offer a "scoop" on the fate of MH370 by so-called experts, namely journalist Geoff Taylor and Mr Ewan Wilson, former chief executive of the "short-lived and long-defunct" Kiwi Travel International Airlines.

"MAS is appalled by their claims that the pilot of MH370 intentionally turned off the oxygen supply in the cabin and activated the auto-pilot feature, which led to the disappearance of MH370.

"There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the book which is a product of pure conjecture for the purposes of profit by the authors and publishers.

"The duo are not involved in the investigation of MH370, yet they stray into the fields of science and medicine as self-described 'experts' offering an analysis beyond their knowledge and abilities," said MAS.

They added that ongoing investigations into the disappearance of MH370 is being conducted by a strong international team led by Malaysia with accredited representatives from the United States, England, Australia, China, France and Singapore.

"Set against a painstaking and methodical ongoing investigation based on scientific data, an independent assessment by self-proclaimed experts with no access to reliable data is hearsay at its most extreme, or fantasy at its most benign.

"The authors and publishers should quite simply be ashamed of themselves, for what is nothing more than a cheap and maligned publicity stunt, seeking to simply cash in on the suffering of the families and undermining the dignity of all of those on board," said MAS.