Saturday, July 19, 2014

Malaysia Airlines: ill-fated or negligent?

Two major disasters for the same airline within such a short time cannot but make us sit up and wonder what is happening. Even before any reasonable explanation is available as to what happened to MH 370, tragedy has struck Malaysia Airlines yet again. MH 17 directly flew into a war zone and put to risk the lives of its passengers.

Aviation authorities had permitted commercial flights above 32,000 feet in the area under reference. MH 17 was flying at 33,000 feet. Malaysia Airlines may therefore justifiably claim that it was not blatantly irresponsible. But airlines are supposed to guard against any foreseeable threat whatever be the remoteness of possibility. British Airways and Air France had stopped overflying this risky territory a few months ago. In comparison, Malaysia Airlines was decidedly negligent.

This disaster is much more consequential than what prima facie appears. It is extremely sad that so many lives have been lost. If by chance many Americans had been in the flight, Obama could not have avoided bombing the Ukrainian rebels. Thus, World War III was barely averted.

It is surprising that the aircraft carrying the Indian prime minister was also scheduled to take the same air corridor. How can Air India be so reckless? The unavoidable conclusion is that we are more lucky than intelligently aware.

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