A Malaysia Airlines flight attendant says the MH17 tragedy
has left some crew scared of flying.
The flight attendant, who spoke to the Herald on the
condition of anonymity, said Kuala Lumpur-Auckland flights at
the weekend needed "last-minute replacements" after two
rostered crew members pulled out.
"What happened to MH370 left us shaken but some of us are
totally crushed after MH17.
"MAS is like one big family and losing our colleagues feels
like losing our family members, and this is just too hard to
Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine last week,
killing 298 on board, including 15 crew.
The tragedy occurred just four months after another Malaysia
jet, Flight MH370 with 12 flight crew, mysteriously
At least one flight attendant on the downed MH17, Angeline
Premila Rajandaran, 30, worked on a Kuala Lumpur-Auckland
flight and spent two nights in Auckland weeks before the
Malaysia's National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) said
the airline's cabin crew had been traumatised by the
tragedies with some developing a fear of flying.
Ismail Nasaruddin told Malaysian media some flight crew
needed psychological help.
"We were just about to ride through [MH370] and here we are
again [MH17]," the Star newspaper quoted Mr Ismail as saying.
"We cannot believe that this incident can happen at this
Another report said Malaysian crew members were demoralised
by the tragedies and some had taken extended leave as they
were too mentally affected to return to work.
Malaysian Airlines was unable to comment last night.
Messages to the MH17 crew have flooded Facebook page "A Fly
Guy's Cabin Crew Lounge".
The site was set up for flight attendants to share
photographs and stories, but has now become a page for
condolences and sympathies for the Malaysia Airlines crew who
died in the Ukraine disaster.
"Kia Ora, Air New Zealand staff send their love, greetings
and support to you, Malaysia Airlines," read a message posted
Malaysia Airlines said yesterday it would refund all
cancellations made by Thursday, including non-refundable
It would also waive fees for passengers who wished to delay
New Zealand travel agencies are fielding inquiries from
shaken customers concerned about travelling with the airline.
But the vast majority of Malaysia Airlines passengers are
continuing with their travel plans because of the hefty cost
of booking with a different airline or changing other
components such as hotel bookings, rental cars or connecting
Meanwhile, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says his team
will aim to put on a show in memory of two fans killed when
MH17 went down.
The English club will wear black armbands in tonight's game
against Sydney FC in Dunedin in memory of John Alder and Liam
Sweeney, and there will be a minute's silence.
The pair were heading to New Zealand for the Football United
tour, which starts at Forsyth Barr Stadium, when MH17 went
down in Eastern Ukraine.
- By Lincoln Tan and Nikki Preston of the New Zealand