MH19 is the new call sign for the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route, replacing the ill-fated call sign of MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, claiming the lives of 298 passengers and crew onboard, including 43 Malaysians and 193 Dutch nationals.
“This (flight) gives a special meaning to the fact that MH17 was scheduled to arrive at the same time almost three months ago. It brings memories to take this flight,” he said at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Perdana Putra Complex, here.
The call sign of MH17 was retired on July 20 out of respect for the crash victims.
Commending the Malaysia Airlines services he received during the flight, Rutte also described MAS as an expert airline with fantastic staff onboard and the best connection between Europe and Malaysia.
“That was very good service,” he said.
MH17 has been high on his agenda during his meeting with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Both leaders also met with the Malaysian MH17 recovery operation team.