Prime Minister Tony Abbott is encouraging Australians to keep travelling despite fears terrorists may have been behind the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane.
Six Australians and two New Zealanders are feared dead after the Boeing 777-200 went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, during a six-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Authorities are examining links to terrorism, after it was revealed two of the flight’s 239 passengers were travelling on stolen passports.
Mr Abbott repeatedly refused to speculate on the possible terrorism link when asked about the issue on Monday.
“People should not jump to conclusions,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
He encouraged Australians to continue with any scheduled overseas travel plans.
“Australians are not a timid people. Never have been, never will be,” he said.
“The last thing I would want to do is to discourage travel.”
Mr Abbott said he doesn’t want to “encourage a climate of fear”.
Two RAAF AP-3C Orion have been deployed from Darwin to join the search and recovery efforts.
IMAGE: Prime Minister Tony Abbott answers a question during a press conference following a tour of Fruitex in Sydney, Monday, March 10, 2014. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)