Kuala Lumpur :  The co-pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight was on just his sixth flight in the cockpit of a Boeing 777 and was flying for the first time without a ‘check co-pilot’ monitoring his work the firm’s chief executive said Monday.

Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27-year-old co-pilot who joined the airline seven year ago, was on his sixth flight in the cockpit of a Boeing that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board, MAS chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

He said Fariq had been accompanied by a ‘check co-pilot’ during his previous five trips.

“This is in line with company policy,” he said. “We did not see any problem with him” and as a result Fariq had been allowed to fly his sixth flight without the check co-pilot on board, he said.

The calmly spoken “all right, good night” final known words from the missing jet are believed to have been spoken by Fariq. Malaysian air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane three minutes later, when its transponder was deactivated.

“The co-pilot is new to the type, he was moved up from our lower fleet,” Ahmad said.

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