IATA director general and CEO, Tony Tyler is calling on governments to set aside their differences in order to give the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 – and their families — the dignity they deserve.
“The tragedy of MH17 is an outrage,” Tyler said. “Over the weekend it was confirmed that the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft were the victims of a hideous crime. It was also an attack against the air transport system which is an instrument of peace.”
IATA’s boss said that, “Among the immediate priorities, the bodies of the victims must be returned to their grieving loved ones in a respectful manner.”
Tyler said that the crash site needs to be secured immediately and an investigation must also start quickly, with total freedom and access.”
“Actions over the weekend which slowed down progress on both of these priorities were an outrage to human decency,” Tyler stated.
And he continued: “We have heard news of potential progress on both these issues. But promises now need to be turned into reality with actions.”
He pointed out that, “Airlines and governments are partners in supporting global connectivity. Airlines carry the passengers and cargo. Governments and air navigation service providers inform airlines about the routes that they can fly and with what restrictions. Airlines comply with that guidance.”
That was the case with MH17, said Tyler.
“Malaysia Airlines was a clearly identified commercial jet. And it was shot down — in complete violation of international laws, standards and conventions — while broadcasting its identity and presence on an open and busy air corridor at an altitude that was deemed to be safe. No effort should be spared in ensuing that this outrage is not repeated. Of course, nobody should be shooting missiles at civilian aircraft — governments or separatists. Governments will need to take the lead in reviewing how airspace risk assessments are made. And the industry will do all that it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead.”
Tyler concluded, “This was a terrible crime. But flying remains safe. And everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to making it even safer.”