No threat to PM's flight, says aviation minister

No threat to PM's flight, says aviation minister

The government on Friday said there was no threat to the aircraft – Air India One – that flew Prime Minister Narendra Modi to India over airspace in Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down.

“I think that is speculation. There was no danger to our PM's aircraft. No problem. The flight data is on foreign radar,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told reporters.

He was commenting on a media report that said Modi's flight was among the many planes that were re-routed after the incident in Ukraine on Thursday. Modi returned last night after his trip to Brazil for Brics summit.

“What happens is that whenever any air route (for a VIP aircraft) is finalised, the countries involved get to know about it. If you don't keep them informed, there is another type of problem,” Raju said.

“So generally whenever any civilian aircraft flies over a country, suppose India, obviously the Government of India will know what aircraft it is, to whom it belongs, what its intentions are,” Raju said.

All the 298 people on board the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines plane were killed after the jet was shot down by "terrorists" over war-torn eastern Ukraine near the Russian border.

Modi writes to Dutch PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday wrote to his Netherlands counterpart Mark Rutte condoling the death of Dutch nationals in the Malaysian air tragedy, PTI reports from New Delhi.

“While nothing can compensate for the sudden and the senseless loss of their loved ones, I do hope they will draw some comfort and strength from the thoughts and prayers of people around the world,” he said.

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