MUST READ: Malaysia Airlines debunks report on emergency landing in Iceland
If you are Reading this news with the title "Malaysia Airline Flight Forced Into Emergency Landing After Flying Over Icelandic Volcano", You better not trust the content.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines on Wednesday (Sep 17) slammed a satirical news website for a viral report claiming that its aircraft was forced to land in Iceland.
In a report published on Monday, World News Daily Report had said Malaysia Airlines flight MH131 was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after the plane’s navigation systems were damaged by heat and debris from the active Bardarbunga volcano.
The report added that the pilots of the Boeing 777 aircraft, en route from Paris to New York, were instructed to fly almost directly over the volcano despite warnings from the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Malaysia Airlines condemned the report’s allegations, and called on the public “not to be fooled by such blatant lies”.
“It is widely known that MAS operates the Kuala Lumpur/Paris/Kuala Lumpur sector utilising its A380 aircraft,” said the airline in a statement on Wednesday. “The airline does not fly onwards to New York, or any other American destinations.”
The code MH131 is used for Malaysia Airlines flights between Kuala Lumpur and Auckland, New Zealand.
Malaysia Airlines also urged the authorities to block World News Daily Report, and “hold all those responsible for the publication of the article to account”.
In its disclaimer, the World News Daily Report described itself as “a news and political satire web publication”, and said all its articles are “fiction, and presumably fake news”.
“PURE CONJECTURE FOR PURPOSES OF PROFIT”
The airline also debunked claims that the pilot of flight MH370 “intentionally turned off the oxygen supply in the cabin and activated the auto-pilot feature”, leading to the disappearance of the aircraft.
Journalists Geoff Taylor and commercial pilot Ewan Wilson had published a book claiming to offer a “scoop” on the plane’s disappearance. They said the pilot had depressurised the cabin and shut down communication links before changing route and letting it land in the Indian Ocean.
“There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the book, which is a product of pure conjecture for the purposes of profit by the authors and publishers,” said Malaysia Airlines, adding that it was “appalled” by the allegations.
The airline also said that Taylor and Wilson are not involved in the investigation of MH370’s disappearance and that they offered an analysis “beyond their knowledge and abilities”.
Malaysia Airlines stressed that the probe into MH370 is being conducted by “a strong international team led by Malaysia with accredited representatives… all individuals being widely-acknowledged technically trained experts in their respective fields”.
The carrier added that it “will not hesitate to take legal action to protect its position” against those who “publish, distribute, disseminate and perpetuate misinformation and falsehoods”.
Flight MH370 disappeared on Mar 8 with 239 people on board while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace of the aircraft has been found despite an international search effort.