An Air India flight AI 113 seems to have narrowly missed the fate of Malaysian Airlines as it was flying only 25 kms away when the MH17 exploded mid-air and came down in flames killing all the passengers onboard.
A 24-hour global flight tracking service called Flightradar24 has also reported that a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 jet (SQ 351) and the Air India Boeing 787 jet (AI 113) were flying very close to MH17 when it disappeared, India Today notes.
The fact comes to light as an Air India official was quoted by the news source as saying they "will abide by any international advisor to avoid airspace over conflict zones like Ukraine." Ever since the incident occurred many airlines have posted messages that they would avoid the route that includes Eastern Ukraine.
Aviation sources have now said that airlines have to take a call on their routes to American and European destinations – and confirm whether or not they would abide by the global aviation advisory on the issue.
All the 298 passengers including two infants on board the Malaysia Airlines plane were killed on Thursday after it was allegedly shot down by, as Ukraine authorities claim, the separatist groups in the Eastern side of the country, who might have mistook the passenger jet for a military airliner.
American intelligence and military officials have been cited by various news sources as saying the plane had been destroyed by a Russian SA-series missile. The conclusion was reached based on surveillance satellite data that showed the trajectory and impact of the missile that was shot on the ill-fated Malaysian airliner, but not its point of origin, the New York Times reports.
There are convincing indications – as pointed out both by the US intelligence as well as various aviation experts interviewed by international news channels – that those responsible may have mistakenly shot down what they had thought was a military aircraft only to realize later, to their shock, that it was a civilian airliner.