Shootdown of Malaysian plane could mean costly route changes

The apparent shootdown of a Malaysian jetliner over war-torn eastern Ukraine could bring some costly changes to the world's airlines, and to their passengers.

The airlines might have to be more vigilant about avoiding trouble spots. And that would make flights longer, and cause them to burn more fuel. The extra expense is often passed on to passengers through higher fares.

The airlines may even be forced to reconsider some international routes.

In the hours after yesterday's disaster, carriers began rerouting flights to avoid Ukraine. Some airlines had already been doing so for weeks.

Experts have been questioning the decision of Malaysia Airlines to fly near the fighting between pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian government. But Malaysia's prime minister says the route had been declared safe by international aviation authorities.

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130-a-17-(Huib (hub) Gorter, Malaysia Airlines senior v-p for Europe, at news conference)-"to any restrictions"-Malaysian Airlines Senior Vice Preisdent Huib Gorter says other airlines used the same route as the plane that was shot down. (Refers to IATA, the International Air Transport Association.) (18 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO YL110: A man points at the Ukrainian airspace on an interactive map of flights over Europe, at the Eurocontrol headquarters, the European Organization for the safety of air navigation, in Brussels, Friday, July 18, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines jetliner was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world from Malaysia to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe) (18 Jul 2014)

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