SEPANG: It was a bittersweet close to MH17 as the last plane bearing the call number touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 6.31am yesterday.
Malaysian passenger, Nurulhuda Abdul Hadi, 26, was a little worried before her flight but reassured herself with a silent prayer before take off.
“It (the flight) was very calm. Before I boarded the plane, I said a prayer and it was good,” said Nurulhuda Abdul Hadi, 26, who added that the flight was packed.
“I was quite surprised actually. I thought people would be cancelling the flight,” she said.
Despite the double disasters of MH370 and MH17, Nurulhuda said she would “most definitely” be flying MAS again.
“It’s one of the best airlines and I’m not saying that because I’m from Malaysia, but because it is the most comfortable (airline),” she observed, urging others to “just have faith”.
Naqeeb Yusuf, 25, who works in the Netherlands, took the last MH17 flight home to spend Raya with his family.
“I’m a frequent traveller with MAS and I felt pretty calm, especially today, but I feel more upset that it (the tragedies) happened to Malaysia Airlines,” said the frequent traveller.
He also expressed his confidence with taking future flights with MAS.
Bill Smidt, 84, and his wife Jenny, 74, recounted a relaxing experience on board MH17’s final voyage, despite some initial anxiety among passengers.
“As we were boarding, a lady was obviously quite anxious. Her husband put his arm around her and gave her a little cuddle. Apart from that, everyone seemed relaxed,” Jenny said at the arrival hall.
She said there would always be a degree of apprehension when flying, but the risk was worth taking when visiting family.
“It’s just one of those things. This (the crash) is unbelievable, but when you have to travel, you have to travel,” she said.
The couple said they would continue flying Malaysia Airlines.
“We feel it was not MAS’ fault that the plane was shot down. We have travelled with them before and have been very happy with the treatment we received.
“Of course, there was a lot of emotion when we left Amsterdam airport. There were a lot of teddy bears and balloons for the victims, and that was overwhelming,” Smidt said.
Gillian Clark said she was also a little nervous when boarding the flight but since she lives in New Zealand, she had no choice but to take the long flight.
“Everybody was calm. The crew was lovely and the pilot said he was avoiding Ukraine and it was good. There was no problem at all. Everybody was very calm and very respectful,” she said.
Gillian also expressed her condolences to the families of those on board the MH17 aircraft that was shot down over Ukrainian airspace on July 17.
“It’s absolutely tragic. I think it’s a terrible, terrible thing and I think Malaysia Airlines is just extremely unlucky. My heart goes out to them (the victims),” she said.
The new call number for the daily Amsterdam–Kuala Lumpur route is now MH19, but the flights will operate at the same frequency as before.