Getting the latest updates: Chinese relatives of passengers MH370 leaving a meeting with officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing. — AFP
BEIJING: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will continue to host the families of those on board MH370 here for the being and has not set up a time frame for their stay.
“They are most welcome to continue staying here should they wish to. We will inform them on the next arrangement,” Firefly CEO Ignatius Ong, who heads the command centre at Lido Hotel, said.
MAS and Department of Civil Aviation have been keeping the families updated on the latest news of the search and rescue mission in three briefings a day – at 9am, 2pm and 6pm.
But MAS has informed the families on Saturday afternoon, after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s press conference, that they would not be able to furnish much details as the investigation had pointed to possible criminal elements involved.
“Our briefing from now on will only touch on care-giving and other related arrangement,” Ong said.
MAS will also assist anyone wishing to return home by arranging transportation. The option to fly to Kuala Lumpur is also still open.
“They have to inform us early if they want to do so because we need to look at room availability,” Ong said.
“However, we have explained to them that there is not much point in going to Kuala Lumpur as the information that they will receive there will still be the same.
“In fact, some of the next-of-kin there (in Kuala Lumpur) are wanting to come home,” he said.
The Go Team members, made up of MAS employees and Tzu Chi volunteers, arrived on Saturday and immediately started helping the families.
“They are there for the families,” Ong said.
Some of the non-Chinese caregivers are also able to speak Mandarin while others communicate with the families via translators.
Wearing blue vests, the Go Team members were seen rushing in and out of the hotel ballroom to take care of the families’ needs.
“I am proud of them. Sometimes they have to bear the brunt of the angry families,” added Ong.