Kuala Lumpur, Aug 9 (IANS): Malaysia Airlines Saturday said that the company had contacted the next-of-kin of MH17 victims to initiate an advance compensation process.
"We have also taken steps to arrange for contractual benefits to which only our crew are entitled, to be paid to their next-of-kin, together with a further goodwill payment to help meet the current needs of their families," it added.
The company said the payment of advance compensation would not affect the families' right to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, but would be calculated as part of the final compensation, Xinhua reported.
However, it did not give any details on the issues, saying matters relating to compensation remained private and confidential.
The airline had been offering financial assistance of $5,000 to families of each passenger and crew member, which would not be part of any compensation that may be payable.
Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a missile in Ukraine near the Russian border July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.
This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8.
The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.