Travel industry pledges MAS support as it mourns MH17

Travel industry pledges MAS support as it mourns MH17
By admin

Ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was not forgotten on Saturday night amid the celebrations of the National Travel Industry Awards, as a number of industry leaders took time to remember those lost and affected by the tragedy.

Opening the event at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury underlined the disaster’s impact across the globe.

“Indeed, 28 Australians have lost their lives in this despicable act against the freedoms of the globe and the innocence of civilians,” he said.

“We mark this moment and recognise this tragedy as begin our event tonight.”

Westbury revealed that senior members of the Malaysia Airlines team had made their apologies for not attending the gala event, and was confident the industry would “extend the hand of friendship” to the airline during this difficult time.

Meanwhile, Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said despite industry challenges, the events of the last week had “put things into perspective”.

“Events like this touch all corners of this industry, particularly so because we work so hard to make travel safe, particularly the flying component,” he said. “So it comes as a surprise, and in fact a shock, when something like this actually occurs and we get very touched by it.”

And while he offered his thoughts and sympathies to the victims and their families, he also highlighted the plight of Malaysia Airlines’ employees and echoed Westbury’s call for the industry to offer its support over the coming weeks and months.

“Looking for positives in events like this is really hard but we know our industry often acts its best when faced with challenging times and I’m sure we’ll learn and get something out of this experience”.

Other airline representatives that stepped up to the microphone also offered their sympathies, agreeing with Strambi that it was inappropriate to “crow” about their achievements over the last year given the circumstances.

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