SEPANG, March 8 — Malaysia Airlines has contacted the families of 80 per cent of the 239 people onboard the missing MH370 aircraft.
According to MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the national carrier has also arranged to ferry a special MAS team to Beijing “to provide support and assistance to families there”.
“Our focus now is to work with the families. We have been trying to get in contact with the families of passengers and also the crew.
“We have been successful in contacting 80 per cent,” he told a joint press conference this afternoon with acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at the Sama-Sama Hotel here.
Jauhari also clarified the nationalities of those onboard, and confirmed that there were also five Indian nationals in MH370, according to the plane’s manifest.
In a press statement at 4.20pm, MAS said it was still unable to locate or establish contact with MH370.
The Beijing-bound Boeing B777-200 aircraft fell off the radar at 2.40am this morning, some two hours after it left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
MAS said the plane’s last known position before it disappeared off the radar screen was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude).
“We are still trying to locate the current location of the flight based on the last known position of the aircraft.
“We are working with the International search and rescue teams in trying to locate the aircraft,” MAS said.
The national carrier also would not confirm reports from Vietnamese media that the plane had crashed into the sea, somewhere off the coast of Tho Chu island.
“So far, we have not received any emergency signals or distress messages from MH370. We are working with authorities and assure that all sources are deployed to assist with the search and rescue mission,” it said in the statement.
MAS has also deployed its “Go Team” to Beijing as caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of passengers.