The Air India flight was travelling from New Delhi to Birmingham. It was reported that when the pilots learned of the incident, they were stunned. It is a standard practice in the aviation industry where air traffic controllers ask the closest plane in the vicinity of an aircraft that has stopped responding to the controller calls.
The newspaper also stated that just minutes before the crash, the AI pilots heard the controllers give the Malaysian Airlines a direct routing. This helps a plane to fly on a straight path, without tracing from navigation point to another one, which saves them time and fuel. However, Air India officials refused to comment on the same, denying the fact that they were the closest to the Malaysian Airline.