The shortcut that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 took before it was shot down over Ukraine reportedly saved the airlines 28,000 dollars at the cost of 298 lives.
According to News.com.au, the Transport Workers Union highlighted the figure and the data was used by National Secretary Tony Sheldon to seek international support and force air safety regulators to halt commercial flights passing over areas of conflict.
Sheldon said that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is the global safety watchdog with primary responsibility for issuing safety warnings on commercial routes. He said that ICAO crisis talks after MH17 simply resulted in an agreement to meet again next year, adding that the ultimate decision on air routes is still being made by the airlines themselves and that means cost would always be calculated against risk.
Meanwhile, he also lauded Qantas' recent decision to avoid flight paths over Iraq conflict zones. However, he asserted that while the move was caused due to public and union pressure, regulators and airlines should have taken the decision as a matter of safety and principle instead.
Malaysia Airlines' flight MH17 with 298 people onboard was shot down on July 17 while flying over Ukraine. (DNA)