Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday temporarily banned checked-in baggage and limited the weight of cabin bags on its flights from Kuala Lumpur to Europe due to strong headwinds.

Starting late Tuesday passengers can check in their bags, but they would be sent on a separate cargo flight, the airline said.

Cabin baggage meanwhile is limited to up to 7 kilograms for every economy class passenger and 14 kilograms for every business and first class passenger on the flights.

“Malaysia Airlines currently operates a long route to Europe, which combined with temporary unseasonably strong headwinds, is limiting the airlines' ability to carry baggage in cargo,” the statement said.

Stronger headwinds and heavier cargo mean that a plane needs to burn more fuel to cover the same distance.

Malaysia Airlines changed its flight route to Europe to avoid conflict areas soon after its flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a missile over Ukraine in 2014.

“Safety remains the centre of the airline’s operations,” the airline statement said, without specifying when luggage limits would return to normal.

MH17 was the second air tragedy to strike Malaysia Airlines in 2014, after the disappearance of Beijing-bound flight MH370 in March of that year.

 

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