Malaysia Airlines took a gamble to fly over war-torn Ukraine to save on fuel. But it was not the only airline to take that risk. Three large airliners set off from Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen for south-east Asia yesterday afternoon European time, all destined to cross the airspace over the eastern Ukraine where one them, the Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER , was to be destroyed by a ground-launched missile fired by pro-Russian separatists. All 298 people on board died. The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was at 33,000 feet in broad daylight and good visibility in a well-travelled corridor deemed “safe” by the air traffic control authorities in Europe and the Ukraine at heights above 32,000 feet, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The flight path of MH17