21 July 2014 at 08.16 GMT
Ten Britons have now been confirmed as having died in the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) aircraft whichcame down in strife-torn Ukraine last week.
It is believed a ground-to-air missile which was fired from the rebel held territory was responsible for bringing down the Boeing 777 which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The UK, France and Germany have warned that further sanctions could be imposed on Russia unless air accident investigators are allowed full access to the crash site.
International investigators have still not been given free access to the site four days after the aircraft crashed, killing all 298 people on board.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association voiced its concern over the tragedy.
A spokesman said: “British pilots express their condolences to the families of the passengers and crew aboard MH17. For whatever reason they appear to have become innocent victims in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“Civil aviation should never be allowed to become a part of conflict and be threatened in this way. The apparent shooting down of this aircraft is therefore of extreme concern to pilots.
“We note that action has been taken by many airlines and authorities to avoid this area. We hope that the conflict in the area does not hamper the ability of the investigatory authorities to determine the exact cause of the crash and any persons who are responsible.”
MAS said yesterday: “There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate daily services between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.”
However, the flight number MH17 has been withdrawn “out of respect for our crew and passengers of the mentioned flight code”.
It has been replaced with flight number MH19.
MAS said any passenger booked to travel by the end of the year who no longer wishes to fly may apply by Thursday for a full refund, even if they have booked restricted fares.
The carrier said: “Passengers who wish to postpone or cancel their travel plans can obtain a refund, including for non-refundable tickets.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly