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New York (AFP) – U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines said Thursday it was no longer sending flights through Ukrainian airspace after the crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Delta is not routing flights through Ukrainian airspace and is monitoring the situation involving Malaysia Airlines Flight 17,” Delta said in a statement.

The jetliner, with 295 people aboard, crashed near Ukraine’s border with Russia in the Donetsk region, held by pro-Russia separatists.

Delta noted that it does not operate any flights over another area in Ukraine subject to a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration security advisory.

In April, the FAA declared Ukraine’s troubled Crimean peninsula a virtual no-fly zone for U.S. air carriers and pilots.

Its so-called Special Federal Aviation Regulation — in effect for a year, pending developments — did not extend to all of Ukraine, including the eastern portion where Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 went down Thursday.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Delta Air Lines family are with the passengers and crew, and their loved ones, involved in the Malaysia Airlines incident today,” Delta said.

AFP Photo/Dominique Faget

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