MH17: 'People will still book Malaysia'

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 12:34 18/07/2014

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New Zealanders are unlikely to be put off air travel after a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine this morning, House of Travel says.

All 298 aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 died after the airliner was hit by a missile and crashed on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur this morning.

One New Zealand passport holder is believed to be among the dead.

The crash comes just four months after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished on March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, including New Zealanders Paul Weeks, 38, and Ximin Wang, 50.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said the MH17 incident wouldn't deter New Zealanders from flying.

''The New Zealand public are resilient travellers. They recognise that air travel is one of the safest ways to travel,'' Thomas said.

Immediately after aviation disasters, concerned customers ask about whether their travel situations were affected but no customers had made cancellations today, he said.

''I'm not expecting that we will have significant, if any cancellations at all today or over the next few days.''

Travel insurance would not cover any booking cancellations, he said.

Aviation disasters did tend to have a small impact on booking patterns and it usually took about six weeks for bookings to return to normal, he said.

''This is just one of those tragic incidents. It won't stop people travelling today, tomorrow or next week.''

People would continue to fly Malaysian Airlines because it was ''a respected and long standing airline'', he said.

Its capacity out of New Zealand was small but its flight routes suited some travellers, he said.

Malaysia Airlines flies daily between Kuala Lumpur to Auckland.

Auckland Airport corporate affairs manager Simon Lambourne said the MH17 incident had no impact on airport operations.

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