Malaysia Airlines’ shock at claims over pilot of missing aircraft

Malaysia Airlines' shock at claims over pilot of missing aircraftBy Phil Davies
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is investigating reports that the co-pilot of its missing aircraft invited passengers to the cockpit on a previous flight.The airline said it was “shocked” by the allegations that guests were hosted on the flight deck in 2011.

While the carrier said it had not confirmed the validity of photos that an Australian television programme said showed the first officer with female passengers, MAS said it was taking them “very seriously.”

The airline said: “Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against first officer Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations.

“We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.”

The search for the missing Boeing 777 with 239 people on board entered a fifth day today, leaving investigators baffled at the lack of details on what happened when radar contact was lost on Saturday.

Malaysia’s air force chief Rodzali Daud denied remarks attributed to him in local media that the missing aircraft was tracked by military radar to the Malacca Strait, far west of its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) head John Brennan said no lines of inquiry should be ruled out.

“I think you cannot discount any theory,” he said when asked if it was possible the pilot deliberately crashed the aircraft.

Brennan also said that terrorism could not be ruled out in the disappearance, according to Mail Online.

“Could it just have been some kind of catastrophic event? I do not think people at this point should rule out any lines of inquiry.

“I think there’s a lot of speculation right now – some claims of responsibility that have not been, you know, confirmed or corroborated at all,” he said.

He added that there were a host of unanswered questions including why the Boeing’s transponder stopped emitting signals and what the role was of passengers carrying stolen passports.

Sourced from  Travel Weekly

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