The boss of an international airline company has said he believes missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 did not go down in the Indian Ocean.
Emirates Airlines Sir Tim Clark said to German newspaper Der Spiegel he did not believe the flight was on autopilot when it disappeared, claiming: “MH370 was, in my opinion, under control, probably until the very end”.
His comments run counter to prevalent thinking that the aircraft was on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.
“Every single second of that flight needs to be examined up until it, theoretically, ended up in the Indian Ocean – for which they still haven’t found a trace, not even a seat cushion,” he said.
Sir Tim added: “Our experience tells us that in water incidents, where the aircraft has gone down, there is always something.
“We have not seen a single thing that suggests categorically that this aircraft is where they say it is, apart from this so-called electronic satellite ‘handshake,’ which I question as well,” the airline boss said.
Emirates Airlines operates 127 Boeing 777 airplanes – more than any other airliner – which is the same model of missing MH370.
Sir Tim said it was the total disappearance of the aeroplane that ignited his suspicions and called for better transparency in the investigation. “I’m totally dissatisfied with what has been coming out of all of this,” he said.
In remarks likely to further inflame conspiracy theorists, Sir Tim added: “We need to know who was on the plane in the detail that obviously some people do know. We need to know what was in the hold of the aircraft.”
The airline boss also scotched suggestions for improved tracking equipment, saying the Boeing 777 model possessed one of the world’s most advanced communications platforms and claimed tracking devices should no longer be under the control of pilots – as they currently are.
“Disabling it [the tracker] is no simple thing and our pilots are not trained to do so. But on flight MH370, this thing was somehow disabled, to the degree that the ground tracking capability was eliminated.”
The latest analysis from the Australian transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the flight went into a slow left turn and spiralled into the Indian Ocean when its fuel ran out.
It has been seven months since Flight MH370 disappeared with all 239 people on board.
Extensive searches have revealed nothing, with the next phase of the operation to locate the plane now beginning following an extensive mapping process of the ocean floor.
Malaysian Airlines have faced angry accusations from the families of those on board over their handling of the situation.