Ottawa-area travellers react to latest air tragedy


It took 24 hours for Moray Horne to arrive home from Central America.

Upon landing at the Ottawa airport Thursday, he hadn’t heard: An Air Algerie plane disappeared from the radar and crashed over west Africa, with 116 people on board, including five Canadians, making it the third airplane to go down in seven days.

“I had more thoughts, safety-wise, probably, leaving Honduras. It’s a rough airport, in terms of its actual physical location,” said Horne, a west end resident.

Physical location is on the mind of frequent fliers worldwide following a turbulent week.

Flight AH5017, headed to Algiers, Algeria from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, was reported missing early Thursday over northern Mali.

A day prior, TransAsia flight 222 made an emergency landing in Taiwan due to bad weather, killing 48 of the 58 people on board.

International airlines cancelled flights to Tel Aviv, Israel earlier this week after a rocket landed near the airport.

Pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with a missile on July 17, killing 298 people — one of whom was Canadian.

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared in March en route to Beijing, and a search is still underway for wreckage.

“In this hemisphere, I don’t think twice,” said Horne.

“I follow world events, usually, quite closely. Luckily, we don’t have the armed conflict in the proximity that — I have family over in the UK and I have to assume that they probably think about things a lot more than I do.”

Business traveller Carl Yank of Gatineau said he primarily flies within North America.

“But I would be concerned, I think, if I had a flight knowing it would cross that territory,” said Yank.

“So I would probably seek an alternate route,” even if it meant paying extra, Yank added.

Joseph Bergeron of Aylmer landed from Winnipeg where he was attending a wedding.

“I’m starting to wonder now just a little bit but I still feel safe in Canada, but I could be wrong,” said Bergeron.

“What a sad world we live in.”

Harpreet Gahla from Barrhaven was waiting for her aunt to arrive from Toronto and began worrying over the flight cancellation.

“There’s no more safe place,” she said, holding her hand to her chest as she processed word of the latest tragedy.

Twitter: @kellyroche6

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