AS NEWS FILTERED through yesterday evening that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 had in fact been shot down over Ukraine, there was a sharp and decisive reaction from airlines and European aviation authorities.
Fears were made worse by the fact that the flight path which led MH17 over East Ukrainian airspace – known as airway L980 – is one of the world’s busiest.
Both the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European navigation safety body Eurocontrol issued a no-fly order over the disputed Crimean region, and East Ukrainian airspace was closed yesterday evening.
The reaction to those orders was sharp and definitive. This dramatic snapshot, taken by aviation website PlaneTalking from FlightRadar24, shows flights fleeing Ukrainian airspace en masse, leaving an eerie gap on the map of Europe.
The Malaysian Airlines passenger plane was shot down over the town of Grabovo yesterday evening, killing 298 people.