Officials with Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday defended their handling of the notification of family members on the presumed final fate of missing Flight MH370.
At a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur airport, Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya first gave his condolences to the family members of the passengers and noted, "It must be remembered that 13 of our own colleagues were also on board."
Regarding the text messages that some relatives got from the airline on Monday, Yahya said the company's "sole motivation" was to make sure the victims' families "heard the news before the world did."
"Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS as the last resort," he said.
Airline officials also said that preparations were being made to provide the families with more than the $5,000 they were already set to receive as compensation, and to shuttle families to the recovery zone in Australia when possible.
Malaysian officials also noted some 40 extra "caregivers" have been trained to assist the passengers' families.
Australian officials earlier had said that visas for family members looking to be as close to the search zone as possible would be expedited.
Meanwhile, when asked if they would resign in the wake of the handling of the investigation, Malaysia Airlines officials said they were considering it, but it was a personal decision.
— Hasani Gittens
First published March 24 2014, 9:56 PM