Disaster has struck Malaysia Airlines yet again after a plane with 280 passengers and 15 crew on board has crashed in eastern Ukraine.
American officials have confirmed that it was a surface-to-air missile that brought down flight MH17 at around 12:15am Eastern Standard Time this morning while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
All 295 people on board were killed including 27 Australians, according to Dutch authorities. DFAT is urging family members that are unable to contact next of kin to call its 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Questions are starting to surface as to why the flight was in the area, considering other airlines have been avoiding the airspace that is considered over a "war zone" since the ongoing unrest in Ukraine.
In a statement released by the airline, flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12:15pm local time and was on route to Kuala Lumpur when contact was “lost” when over a rebel-held area in east Ukraine.
Malaysian Airlines Australian reservation office have said in light of the recent tragedy of MH17 on 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines will waive all fees for changes to travel from today until further notice to any MH destinations effective immediately until Friday, 25 Jul 2014. The above waiver is only applicable for transactions till Friday 25 Jul 2014.