Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Air Carrier Offers Cash, Caregiver Support to Families of 239 Passengers & Crew; CEO to Decide Later If He Will Quit or Stay
By Vittorio Hernandez | March 25, 2014 8:19 PM EST
Following the Monday night TV announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet likely crashed into the Indian Ocean, families of the 239 passenger and crew expressed grief and anger.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 shouts at journalists after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, at the Lido hotel in Beijing, March 24, 2014. Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight reacted with hysteria on Monday after the Malaysian prime minister announced the jet ended its journey in the remote Southern Indian Ocean. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER MEDIA march 24, 2014
On Tuesday, a protest was held infront of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, attended by relatives of passengers of the ill-fated flight.
The embattled Malaysian Airlines, in a bid to appease the angry kin, offered a comprehensive support programme for the relatives made up of an initial $5,000 financial assistance and two dedicated caregivers assigned per family to provide care, support and counsel.
Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said at a press conference in Malaysia that the air carrier will continue to shoulder the hotel accommodation for up to 5 family members per passenger, transportation, meals and other expenses since the jet went missing on March 8.
He disclosed that the air carrier has been supporting over 900 people under the programme. It also trained 40 more caregivers to ensure the grieving families have available round-the-clock support.
Mr Yahya added, "We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues."
Despite the declaration that the jet crashed, the search for the missing plane will go on. And if investigating authorities would later approve, the company would shoulder arrangements to bring the families of the crash victims to the recovery area.
Meanwhile, when asked if he would quit over the air mishap, Mr Yahya said he would decide later if he would stay or resign as CEO of Malaysian Airlines, presumably so he could oversee the search for the jet.
Also on Tuesday, China demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data it used to reach the conclusion that the Boeing 777 crashed in the Indian Ocean and killed everyone on board.
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