Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan detected no unidentified planes when Malaysian jetliner vanished

ASTANA/BISHKEK Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:32pm IST

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 to Beijing sits on the tarmac as passengers are reflected on the glass at the boarding gate at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at approximately 12:20am March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 to Beijing sits on the tarmac as passengers are reflected on the glass at the boarding gate at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at approximately 12:20am March 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su

Stocks

   

ASTANA/BISHKEK (Reuters) - Central Asian neighbours Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan said on Monday no unidentified planes had crossed their air space on March 8, making it unlikely that a missing Malaysia Arlines jetliner could have been diverted along a northern route via Thailand.

Malaysia Airlines (MASM.KL) Flight MH370, which vanished with 239 people aboard, could hypothetically have reached Kazakhstan's air space, but it would have been detected there, the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee said in a detailed statement sent to Reuters.

"Even if all on-board equipment is switched off, it is impossible to fly through in a silent mode," said the statement signed by the committee's deputy head Serik Mukhtybayev. "There are also military bodies monitoring the country's air space."

Malaysia Airlines planes had made nine regular flights to and from Europe over Kazakhstan's territory on March 8, Mukhtybayev said.

"Even hypothetically thinking, before reaching Kazakhstan's territory this plane would have had to fly over other countries along its route, where the flight zone is also closely monitored, so we would have received information from these countries," he added.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday called Almazbek Atambayev, the president of Kazakhstan's neighbour Kyrgyzstan, saying the route of the diverted plane could have crossed his country as well, Atambayev's press service said.

Razak asked the Kyrgyz leader to provide any information that could help the investigation, it added.

Kyrgyz civil aviation authorities ruled out any possibility of the airliner disappearing in or near Kyrgyzstan.

"No, this plane did not fly over Kyrgyzstan's territory," Dair Tokobayev, vice-president of Kyrgyzstan's main civilian airport Manas near the capital Bishkek, told Reuters.

"We have two military air bases - a U.S. and a Russian one - deployed in our country and equipped with pretty serious radar equipment, so they would have detected this plane."

Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said on Monday that it was unclear exactly when one of the plane's automatic tracking systems had been disabled, appearing to contradict the weekend comments of government ministers.

Suspicions of hijacking or sabotage had hardened further when officials said on Sunday that the last radio message from the plane - an informal "all right, good night" - was spoken after the system, known as "ACARS", was shut down.

(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Additional reporting by Olga Dzyubenko in Bishkek; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Alison Williams)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

WORLD SHOWCASE

Taiwan Blast

Taiwan Blast

Gas blast in Taiwan kills 25, injures 267, topples buildings  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729.  Full Article 

Salvaging Debris

Salvaging Debris

International experts reach plane crash site in east Ukraine - OSCE  Full Article 

Displaced Women

Displaced Women

Pakistan widows, "second" wives flee fighting but are denied aid  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Separatists kill 10 troops in attack in east Ukraine  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage