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Malaysia Airlines staff mourn fallen colleagues of MH17

Despite the scorching heat, over 200 Malaysia Airlines staff in their full attire joined members of the public outside the Bunga Raya Complex in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the scorching heat, over 200 Malaysia Airlines (MAS) staff joined members of the public outside the Bunga Raya Complex at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to honour the 20 victims of the MH17 tragedy on Friday (Aug 22).

Of the 20 remains which arrived back in Malaysia, nine were that of crew members. Many of those lining the street outside the KLIA complex were flight attendants, pilots and co-pilots. Although they were not allowed in, they wanted to be there to welcome home their perished colleagues whom they regard as brothers and sisters - and as fallen heroes. 

It has been a tough year indeed for staff of MAS. They lost a total of 27 crew members this year alone, 12 from MH370 that disappeared without a trace en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and their whereabouts are still a mystery today, and another 15 were killed in the tragic crash of MH17. 

Some had to seek psychological help, some stopped flying altogether. Still there was nothing stopping them to welcome home their comrades on this national day of mourning. 

"It could happen to anyone but, on this very occasion, we knew each of them," said one of the MAS staff outside the Bunga Raya Complex. "They are our friends. It's a huge loss for all of us, but we are strong and we will carry on." 

An uncertain future lies ahead for Malaysia Airlines and its 19,000-strong staff. It has been announced that MAS will be taken private in order to go through a complete overhaul. They will be cutting routes, downsizing and many will be losing their jobs.

Although morale is low at the company, nothing was going to stop the MAS staff from showing solidarity and support with the entire nation as they mourned the loss of their friends.