Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Boeing part reignites Malaysia jetliner mystery

Reprints

Last week's discovery of a Boeing 777 part washed up on the beach of the French island Reunion, reignites the mystery of missing Malaysia flight 370 that disappeared in March 2014.

Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, citing French authorities, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing Co., confirmed Sunday that the found part was from a Boeing 777, the same type of aircraft as the Malaysia flight 370 plane, according to news reports.

At the time of the plane's disappearance, the lead reinsurer for Malaysia Airlines (for aviation and hull liability coverage) was Munich-based Allianz S.E., who at that time issued the following statement:

“We extend our sympathy to all those affected by the loss of flight MH370. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage, except to say that we continue to work closely with co-reinsurers and all involved parties to support our client, Malaysia Airlines, as fully and quickly as possible.”

When Business Insurance asked Allianz for their response to the latest findings this remains their official response.

When asked Friday about payment for the missing plane, Hugo Kidston — a London-based Allianz spokesman — explained that when an aircraft goes missing, it's standard policy that after a certain period a payout is made. It's standard practice to pay funds into an escrow account, and that is what Allianz did in 2014, shortly after the incident, he said.

In situations where terrorism can be proved and there are more than one insurer's, such as the Malaysia MH 370, insurers would meet at the table.

Mr. Kidston added that “The only insurance activity that might happen is if there was a highly speculative case of terrorism, then there would be a discussion between the war risk underwriters and the hull risk underwriters, and that would be on the insurance side, it wouldn't affect the client (Malaysia Airlines) or the unfortunate next of kin of the passengers, it's between us to sort out who pays for it.”

Until last week, since the 777 abandoned its flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, not a single piece from the crash had been detected. Lighter parts such as wing pieces, may have broken off while it sank. Those could drift to shore, like the part found on the beach.

Reunion is east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.