Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Malaysia Airlines makes first payouts to MH370 families

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-13

Malaysia Airlines has begun making initial compensation payouts of $50,000 (almost €37,000) each to the families of passengers aboard Flight MH370, three months after the jet disappeared, a Malaysian government official said Thursday.

So far six Malaysian families and one Chinese family have received the advance payment, to which all the families of the 239 passengers and crew onboard are entitled, said Malaysian deputy foreign minister Hamzah Zainudin.

Talks with 40 more Chinese families are underway to ascertain they are the rightful claimants, said Hamzah, who heads a committee to support the missing passengers' next-of-kin.

The Boeing 777 inexplicably disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with no sign of wreckage found despite an extensive search off western Australia.

Full payment to the families – who can claim up to more than three times the amount of the initial payout  – would be made later, Hamzah said.

The government was not yet prepared to declare the plane lost, he added.

"When we talk about the full payment, we have to wait until we announce the issue on the tragedy MH370 is over... whether the plane is found, whether we announce the plane is lost," he said.

Passengers' families can claim up to about $175,000 under International Civil Aviation Organisation rules, regardless of fault, in a plane crash.

Malaysia Airlines' insurer, a consortium led by Germany's Allianz, is making the payments.

Families still looking for answers

Malaysia and Australia have promised they will not give up looking for the plane in a vast deep-sea area in the southern Indian Ocean where the jet is believed to have crashed, based on satellite data.

But angry relatives of some of those on board have accused Malaysia and its national carrier of reacting too slowly and covering up information. Two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese.

On Wednesday, about two dozen relatives of Chinese passengers gathered outside Malaysia Airlines’ regional office in Beijing to demand more information on the missing flight.

“Please give us the truth and tell us the right way to find our beloved ones,” said Dai Shuqin, whose sister was on the plane with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and grandchild. “It has been extremely hard for us, and we can’t take it anymore.”

Under the tight watch of at least a dozen Chinese police and several building employees, the relatives were kept from entering the office building.

A handful of families have also launched an online campaign to raise $5 million to reward a "whistleblower" who comes forward with information to help find the plane.

So far, they have raised more than $25,000.

"The government has been very transparent from day one," said Hamzah on Thursday.

The next phase of the hunt will see authorities comb a 60,000 square-kilometre (24,000 square-mile) search zone based on the plane's last satellite communication.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-06-13

  • MALAYSIA FLIGHT MH370

    Australia wraps up search where MH370 'pings' detected

    Read more

  • MALAYSIA

    Malaysia Airlines tell MH370 families to go home

    Read more

  • MALAYSIA

    Search chief hopes to find MH370 wreckage 'within days'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)