Polish Airlines says not to fly over eastern Ukraine after crash

WARSAW, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Polish Airlines (LOT) has said it will avoid flying over the eastern Ukraine after a Malaysian plane crash, killing 295 people on board, a statement of the airlines said on Thursday.

The statement said LOT has been avoiding flying over eastern Ukraine for some time.

"The tragic accident in eastern Ukraine does not affect the operations performed by LOT in any way,"the statement said, explaining that neither the direct Beijing connection nor others flies over the affected area.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has discussed the matter with the Polish National Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has expressed his sympathy to the families of victims.

The Malaysia Airlines passenger plane MH17 crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed.