Is Malaysia Airlines still operating after flight MH370 disappeared?
It’s one of the greatest aviation mysteries – and PR disasters – of modern times. On March 8, 2014, an airliner took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, only to disappear from radar screens. Four months later, another plane was shot down by Russian forces over eastern Ukraine. So, after the disappearance of MH370 and the destruction of MH17, how on earth is Malaysian Airlines still operating?
The missing plane is the subject of Netflix MH370: The plane that disappeared Documentary premiered nine years after the apparent Boeing 777 crash with 12 crew members and 227 passengers on board. A multinational investigation into the incident has been launched and the streaming giant polled aviation journalists and online investigators to give their opinion.
Is Malaysia Airlines still operating?
Is Malaysia Airlines still operating? Yes, but after two devastating accidents in quick succession, it suffered significant casualties. In March 2014, flight MH370 disappeared just 40 minutes after takeoff with 239 souls on board.
Then, in July 2014, flight MH17 from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam was shot down by Russian-controlled forces while flying over eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed instantly. With two major catastrophes in such a short space of time, the airline’s value and public perception of safety collapsed. But it had struggled financially for years. In 2015, the BBC reported that the airline was “technically bankrupt” and that the disasters were the “last straw” for the already struggling airline.
The company’s financial losses were so significant that the Malaysian government actually bailed it out with a $1 billion investment, taking full control of the company through share buybacks and restructuring to restore confidence. “Malaysia Airlines was already sleepwalking and ignoring the competitive threat posed by the low-cost market when AirAsia started operations,” Saj Ahmad, an analyst at StrategicAero Research in London, told the New York Times in August 2014 If he wants to become 100 percent owner, the problem is that renaming doesn’t stop customers from staying away from a tainted company.”
Two years after MH370’s ill-fated flight, relatives of the passengers accused the Malaysian government of a legal maneuver that could have denied them compensation. “The government is trying to protect one of their companies instead of giving their citizens access to justice,” Grace Nathan, a lawyer in the capital Kuala Lumpur whose mother was on a plane representing Voice 370, told the New York Times at the time .
In a 2020 article for Reuters, the news agency noted that analysts and lessors said the airline had faced high costs, a chaotic strategy and a bloated workforce even after the restructuring. “We are at this stage because the airline has run out of money, it has run out of ideas and the government seems to have lost patience with it,” said Shukor Yusof, an analyst at Endau Analytics.
Have you ever found Malaysian Airlines Flight 370?
Have you ever found Malaysian Airlines Flight 370? Most of the fuselage was never found, but debris that washed up on an Australian beach in October 2020 was thought to be part of MH370. Parts of the wreck have also been found off African coasts and islands in the Indian Ocean. In January 2023, British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey completed an analysis of such debris and confirmed that it was part of the missing aircraft.
“The location where the debris was found at Antsiraka Beach in Madagascar, where a total of 20 pieces of floating debris from MH370 were found in Madagascar and 4 at the same Antsiraka Beach confirms the likelihood that this new piece of floating debris is also from MH370. Of the items washed ashore in Madagascar and officially analysed, six items have been classified by authorities as almost certain, very likely or likely to be MH370,” he said, per Airline Ratings.com.
What happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370?
What happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370? Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know for sure. The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur at 00:41 local time and lost all contact with traffic control about three minutes later. Officials say the plane’s transponder was turned off over the South China Sea. The last voice contact was at 1:19 a.m. Malaysian time and at 2:22 a.m., about 230 miles from Penang, it disappeared.
Cyndi Hendry, who worked for Tomnod, a satellite imagery company, says in the Netflix series that she was randomly assigned satellite imagery by Tomnod. “The satellite images were blank. It was just the blackness of the sea. Then press next, more black scans. So much black. And then finally there’s something white,” she said.
“Good night, Malaysia 370,” Shah told the air traffic controllers when they were ready to turn communications duties over to the Vietnamese. Those were his last words before the plane lost all radar contact less than two minutes later. The docu-series takes another look at the evidence found on Shah’s computer in 2016 showing that he had run a simulation of the plane’s suspected trajectory just a month before MH370 took off. It’s not exactly a smoking gun, however.
“It’s very strange that a simulation ends with a fuel shortage in the southern Indian Ocean,” Mike Exner of the Independent Group, a monitoring group of aviation experts formed to find out the final moments of flight, told the New York Post in March to 2023. “I don’t think taking the simulator data alone proves much… The simulator data isn’t the whole puzzle, it’s just one piece of the puzzle that fits.”
Aviation journalist Jeff Wise, whose theories about the missing flight were considered controversial among experts, said the Shah’s suicide theory would require an “aggressive and sophisticated” conspiracy to overpower and lock his co-pilot from the cockpit and disrupt radar communications. The final report on MH370 stated that “there is no evidence of recent behavioral changes for the [pilot].”
The second theory is that Russian hijackers took control of the plane. Journalist Jeff Wise suggested on the Netflix show that three Russian passengers sat near an electric hatch and managed to create a diversion so they could take over the plane. Former Malaysia Airlines crisis director Fuad Sharuji does not believe the theory is credible. “Anyone who gets into the hatch can disable the transponder and disable the communications systems,” Sharuji said. “But it’s impossible to fly the plane out of the avionics compartment.”
The final theory is that the United States had something to do with the tragedy, but obviously it’s just a theory. The plane apparently had a huge amount of electronics on board, and the idea is that the American military shot it down to confiscate equipment destined for China – a diplomatic rival. French journalist Florence de Changy says MH370 had 2.5 tons of electronic equipment on board. “It is well known that China has been keen to acquire highly sensitive US technology in the field of surveillance, stealth and drone technology,” she said. “That could be at the heart of what happened to MH370.”
Harry Hewland, the producer of the Netflix documentary on MH370, says: “More than anything, we want to get the hidden truths about MH370 out of the rug it was swept under and remind people that this still has a story to tell is no end, a mystery unsolved, that someone out there knows more than the world has been told.”
MH370: The plane that disappeared can be streamed on Netflix.
Richard Quest, CNN’s aviation correspondent, was one of the lead journalists to cover the story. Coincidentally, Quest had interviewed one of the two pilots a few weeks before the disappearance. Here he begins his gripping account of those tense weeks in March, presenting a fascinating chronicle of an international search that, despite years of searching and spending tens of millions of dollars, failed to find the plane.
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