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Malaysia Airlines: Representatives in touch with families of those onboard missing plane to initiate advance compensation payment

Editor: Bai Yang 丨Xinhua

05-03-2014 12:44 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said Saturday in a statement that its representatives had been in touch with the families of those onboard the missing MH370 flight to initiate an advance compensation payment process.

"This is to assist the family members in meeting their economic needs and will not affect their rights to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage," it said, adding that it would be calculated as part of the final compensation.

However, the company said matters with regards to compensation remain private and confidential, which it would not be discussing any related details publicly, out of respect to the grieving families.

In a separate statement issued by the company on Friday night, Malaysia Airlines clarified and confirmed that 38 passengers of the 239 persons on board the missing plane were Malaysians.

A confusion arose because the seating position of the passengers released in the preliminary report into the missing of Flight MH370 had indicated that there were fewer than 38 Malaysian passengers onboard the aircraft.

On the exchange of signals between the ground and the aircraft soon after Ho Chi Minh Air Traffic Control advised that radio contact had not been established with MH370, MAS clarified that what was referred to as signals was actually the aircraft displayed on the 'Flight Following System' screen.

"This was based on the aircraft projection at that point of time and not the actual aircraft position," it said.

The company said when Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Center ( KL-ATCC) Watch Supervisor queried Malaysia Airlines OPS ( Operations) on the status of MH370, MAS OPS informed the latter that MH370 was still sighted over Cambodian airspace in the Flight- Following System, which is based on a flight-projection.

It said the word "Cambodia" was displayed by the Flight- Following System on the screen when zoomed-in, leading Malaysia Airlines to deduce that the aircraft was flying in Cambodian airspace.

The Flight-Following System did not display the name "Vietnam", even though the aircraft was over Vietnam airspace, the statement said.

The statement said to make the flight-following systems work successfully and effectively, it was important to have visual depiction of the aircraft's position, coupled with confirmation by air-to-ground communications, such as through Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) or Satcomm or VHF or HF.

"In the case of tracking MH370, MAS' flight-following system indicated that the aircraft was flying, however, there was no communication from or with the pilot," it said, adding that "MAS OPS attempted to communicate with MH370 after we were flagged by KL-ATCC, but was never able to make contact."

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