PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - The Group CEO of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said on Sunday the MAS staff and passengers lost one year ago will "never, ever" be forgotten.
"We are here today to say 'Thank You' for the service of the 13 exceptional members of the Malaysia Airlines family who are not here with us today," said Ahmad Jauhari at a private gathering in remembrance of the 13 employees aboard Flight MH370 at the MAS Academy in Kelana Jaya.
"In remembrance of our 13 friends, we say 'Thank You' to their families and loved ones for sharing their lives with us.
"Please know that we will never ever forget these men and women who we will continue to cherish and honour. We love them. We miss them. And they will always remain in our hearts," Ahmad Jauhari said in his speech.
MAS employees and some family members of those onboard MH370 attended the one-year anniversary gathering.
Also present were MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof and members of the company's Board of Directors.
Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.
The plane is believed to have ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean, but a year-long hunt has so far drawn a blank. Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) declared the disappearance an accident and MH370's passengers and crew were "presumed dead".
Ahmad Jauhari on Sunday thanked all those who helped Malaysia Airlines during the crisis.
"Whilst MH370 was a most tragic episode for all of us, MH370 also brought out the best in Malaysia Airlines. Watching how the whole organisation came together, united, supported each other as a family in crisis, really amazed me. I was then, and still am till today," he said.
He also thanked volunteers who provided various forms of assistance and made special mention to the caregivers who "took on a most difficult task".
MAS employess received a personal word of appreciation from Jauhari, who praised their professionalism and spirit of duty during the airline's most difficult year.
Ahmad Jauhari also thanked the Malaysian Government and international governments who shared their expertise and resources in locating the missing airlines in what he referred to as an "unprecedented international effort".
"Amidst the difficulties this past year, Malaysia Airlines has continued to fly high. This was made possible because of the strong support of our customers who continue to fly with us, and all Malaysians, from all walks of life, from near and far, who rallied in solidarity in support of our national airline. We thank you," he said.
The search for the aircraft is ongoing and work in the designated zone is expected to be completed in May.