Aeroflot, Russia's largest air carrier, said Thursday it has decided to change its flight routes to bypass Ukrainian airspace following a crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine.
"Aeroflot is carrying out flights bypassing the Ukrainian airspace," the company said in its Twitter blog.
Earlier the same day, Russia’s Transaero Airlines also decided to carry out its flights to third countries bypassing Ukrainian airspace.
Kazakhstan’s principle airline Air Astana has suspended its flights from Almaty to Kiev in connection with the crash of the Malaysian aircraft over the territory of Ukraine, the company said.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the city of Donetsk on Thursday. There were at least 280 passengers, including 23 US citizens, and 15 crew members on board.
Flight controllers reported that the plane disappeared from radar screens while flying at an altitude of about 10,000 meters (some 33,000 feet).
Witnesses told RIA Novosti the debris of the plane covers an area of about one square kilometer, and at least several dozen bodies were found scattered around the crash site.