The crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight bound for San Francisco reported seeing a North Korean missile test on November 29th, 2017. Despite this, Cathay has no plans to change its routes in the region. On the same day of the sighting, there were reportedly other aircraft in the area. China Airlines’, ANA and the taiwanese airline Eva Air all had flights operating in the area at the time of the North Korean Missile test.
Flying over the Korean Peninsula today is still one of the key air routes operated by over a hundred of flights going between the Asian and North American continent everyday. This is not the only key air routes used for flights used between two continents. Another key routing that traces over the Korean peninsula is a routing over northern China and continuing into Russia.Cathay’s manager of operations Mark Hoye, a former 747 pilot, is stated to have said “Today (date not specified) the crew of CX983 reported, ‘Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location. We advised ATC and ops normal. Looking at the actual plots, CX096 might have been the closest, at a few hundred miles laterally”.
The Hong Kong based carrier’s Flight Attendants Union vice-chairwoman Dora Lai Yuk-sim said that the airline had still not officially notified staff about the incident. She said that she had only learned from the airline’s in-flight services department which has been continuously looking carefully at the situation throughout the last two years.
Lai also stated that “I haven’t heard of any colleagues who are too worried. There have been some inquiries”.
Since this incident has happened, no carrier has taken action to react to this situation. With the continual escalation of the North Korean missile crisis, action might have to be taken soon to avoid the likelihood of another disaster like Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.