MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Six months after the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing above the southern Indian Ocean, the relatives of the passengers on board are not giving up on their calls for a more thorough investigation into the disappearance of the plane.
The MH370 Flight took off from Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport (KLIA) on March 8, heading for Beijing. There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board the plane, which disappeared from secondary radars as it passed over the Gulf of Thailand.
153 of the passengers were Chinese but the plane was also carrying citizens of Canada, Indonesia, Ukraine, France, the Netherlands and Australia.
The relatives of those on board Flight MH370 have been offered $50,000 (£30,650) in "initial compensation", but only seven families have so far accepted the payment, The Telegraph wrote Monday citing the Malaysian government.
The Chinese relatives continue to insist that Boeing, Malaysia Airlines and the governments involved have not released all the data on the flight and say they will continue to petition for more transparency.
According to the Montreal convention (formally, the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air), the airline must pay $176,000 for each of the MH370 passengers. But relatives can eventually sue for more compensation, with some lawyers estimating that an American court could award $8 million but that a Chinese court would be likely to award far less, according to The Telegraph.
In August, Azman Mohtar, head of Malaysian state investment fund Khazanah Nasional, which has taken control of Malaysia Airlines, announced that the 42-year-old air carrier was planning to dismiss more than 6,000 employees, which is nearly a third of its staff, and change chief executives in an attempt to save the company from bankruptcy.
The reputation of the air carrier has been severely damaged after another Malaysia Airlines flight, MH17, crashed in eastern Ukraine. The plane, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 near the city of Donetsk. All 298 people on board died, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
The cause of the crash is still unclear, with the Ukrainian government saying that independence supporters in the country’s eastern regions shot the plane down, while the latter deny any involvement.
The investigation into the crash has been hindered by the conflict in the region.
On Saturday, the New Straits Times reported that the Malaysian and Australian governments plan to work alongside each other in the investigation of both of the Malaysian Airlines tragedies.
The wreckage of MH370 aircraft has still not been found, but coordinated efforts in late August suggested the plane could have crashed south of the previously searched area.
A new stage on the search operation will begin with the involvement of the Dutch company Fugro Survey Pty. The company will use two ships with towed underwater vehicles to conduct a search across a 60,000 square kilometer area of the Indian Ocean’s sea bed.
Search operations will continue until the end of this year.