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An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Cor Pan and Neeltje Tol - believed to be on board MH17

Cor Pan and Neeltje Tol - believed to be on board MH17

A still taken from amateur video hows a fireball shortly after the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over Ukraine. Photo: AP

A still taken from amateur video hows a fireball shortly after the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over Ukraine. Photo: AP

People walk amongst the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine. Photo: AP

People walk amongst the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine. Photo: AP

Emergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Emergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An Emergencies Ministry member works at putting out a fire at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An Emergencies Ministry member works at putting out a fire at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

A woman, who said her name was Noraini and that she believed a relative of hers was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. Reuters

A woman, who said her name was Noraini and that she believed a relative of hers was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. Reuters

US President Barack Obama looks down as he speaks about the Malaysian airliner flight MH-17 that was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard. Reuters

US President Barack Obama looks down as he speaks about the Malaysian airliner flight MH-17 that was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard. Reuters

An Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 is seen at the G3 gate of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, before it took off, heading to Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2014. Reuters

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 is seen at the G3 gate of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, before it took off, heading to Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2014. Reuters

Smoke rises above the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Smoke rises above the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Emergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Emergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

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An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. Reuters

AIRLINES across the world last night imposed a no-fly zone over Ukraine as questions grew over why passenger jets were flying over the war zone three months after pilots were warned to avoid it.

In the east of the country, Eurocontrol, which coordinates European air traffic control, said Ukrainian authorities had now closed all routes.

Eurocontrol said the closure of airspace would affect 300 flights a day on the busy route, with planes expected to be diverted. Delays are expected as a result.

Aviation safety authorities in America and Europe warned pilots in April about potential risks flying in or near Ukraine airspace.

The US Federal Aviation Administration issued a "special notice" regarding Ukrainian airspace advising airlines to "exercise extreme caution due to the continuing potential for instability" and Eurocontrol warned pilots and airlines to avoid Ukranian airspace due to serious risks. Aviation experts last night said operators continued to fly across the zone because it was the quickest and cheapest route.

It is understood airliners continued to cross volatile regions because operators believed they were at a sufficient altitude not to be at risk of attack. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

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