Airlines moved swiftly to reassure passengers, including cruisers heading to Europe for their next holiday, that they have adjusted their routes to avoid flying over eastern Ukraine.

The changes come after a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was apparently shot down by a missile while it was flying over a hostile region of Ukraine yesterday.

Flight MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam – a known cruise centre. The Boeing 777 was carrying 298 people – 27 were Australian.

Emirates has suspended its Dubai to Kiev flight due to safety concerns. The carrier said suspension will hold until further notice but said its other US and European flights do not fly over Ukraine zones.

Air France said upon hearing about the incident it has decided to avoid Eastern Ukraine.

Indian carriers, Air India and Jet Airways have stopped all flights flying over Ukraine after India’s director general of civil aviation issued instructions to avoid the country.

Dutch airline, KLM said it too would take precautionary measures by avoiding the “concerned territory”.

And German airline, Lufthansa said it decided on “long-range diversions of the airspace in east Ukraine”. The line said four flights would be affected by the diversion.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has assured its guests on Twitter that its flights do not use Ukraine airspace.