Malaysia Airlines says its top priority at the moment is to contact the next of kin of those killed in the MH17 air disaster.

Travellers say they’ll continue to fly with Malaysia Airlines despite the carrier’s second catastrophic accident in four months.

Flight MH17 crashed in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Friday after apparently being struck by a surface-to-air missile.

All 298 people on board, including 28 Australians, were killed.

It comes after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in the Indian Ocean in March.

As news broke of the latest disaster on Friday, travellers were quick to show their support of the airline on its official Facebook page.

One poster said he wouldn’t be abandoning the airline.

“Sad to hear of another fatal blow to a great Airline … despite these 2 horrific events of late blame should not be turned back upon your organisation … Stand tall and hold your head high … I will be back soon to use your great service.”

Another added: “Travelling with you guys next week from Auckland NZ to KL, to all crew stay strong our thoughts are again with you. see you on thursday.”

On Twitter, ReeB73 said “Got to feel for #MalaysiaAirlines Such difficult times and then to be hit with this devastation” while Lina Tan tweeted “I will always support #MalaysiaAirlines because nothing beats familiar friendly faces when you are away and the service is one of the best”.

However, some people demanded to know why the airline flew over disputed territory in Ukraine.

On Facebook one called for the airline to be “shut down”, while another accused it of “complete incompetence and lack of foresight”.

Malaysia Airlines flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin and Auckland will operate as scheduled.

However, the airline says all European flights will take alternative routes.

“With immediate effect, all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will be taking alternative routes avoiding the usual route,” it said.

Qantas and South Korea’s two main airlines, Korean Air and Asiana, said they all re-routed flights from as early as the beginning of March when Russian troops moved into Crimea.

A Qantas spokeswoman said its London to Dubai service used to fly over Ukraine, but the route was changed “several months ago”.

Malaysia Airlines has deployed a team of caregivers and volunteers to Amsterdam to assist family members of the deceased.

“The priority now is to get in contact with the next of kin and to take care of their wellbeing,” an airline spokesman told AAP from Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is offering a refund for passengers who wish to postpone or cancel their travel plans.

“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets the loss of MH 17, and is very much appreciative of the support from our passengers,” the carrier said in a statement.