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MISSING MH370: Many family members opt to stay in Beijing

Publication Date : 17-03-2014


Many families of the passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 decided to stay in Beijing to await news.

On Sunday, an airline representative told the passengers' relatives at a closed-door meeting in the Metropark Lido Hotel that they could either return home or stay at one of four Beijing hotels at the airline's expense.

For those who prefer to await news in Kuala Lumpur, the airline will fly them there.

At Beijing's Metropark Lido Hotel, where more than 200 relatives are staying, security was tight on Sunday, as visitors had to go through security checks for the first time.

News conferences had been held at the hotel in the city's northeast every day since March 8, when the flight disappeared.

But the airline said on Saturday afternoon it will not hold any further news conferences now that a full-blown criminal investigation is underway. The probe was launched after the announcement that the aircraft was deliberately diverted.

Starting on Monday, the airline will have a briefing with the relatives at 6pm every day at the hotel.

An elderly woman who gave her surname as Yang said she and other family members will stay in Beijing for further information. She said the airline asked them to prepare questions in advance.

"They will collect our questions and answer them later, maybe the following day. That is too slow," said Yang, from Fuzhou, Fujian province.

Relatives staying at the three other hotels said they still want to attend the briefings at the Metropark, and they demanded that Malaysia Airlines provide them transportation. Airline officials promised to help with the problem.

Shi Xianfei said he will return to his workplace in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Monday after waiting for almost a week in Beijing for news about his cousin who was on the plane, but several other family members will stay.

Shi's cousin, Shi Xianwen, 26, was on the missing Boeing 777 during a business trip as a translator for a foreign trade company in Anyang, Henan province.

Family members said they hope Malaysia Airlines will release updated information in a more transparent way.

Cao Yin and Hou Liqiang contributed to this story.


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