Maarten de Jonge, a Dutch cyclist, could very well have made two of the greatest delays of his life. He was scheduled to fly on both of the Malaysian flights that have crashed this year. The first was Flight MH370, which has yet to be found after disappearing over the Indian Ocean in March–and more recently MH17, which was likely shot down over Ukraine last week.
De Jonge, in a statement on his website, confirmed he was supposed to be on both of the flights but changed his flights at the last minute for both of them.
In March, the cyclist with Malaysia’s Terengganu Cycling Team was scheduled to take the flight to compete in a race in Taiwan, but switched to avoid having a stopover.
He was set to take the more recent flight to return to Asia from a recent race in the Netherlands, but changed his flight for a later one.
“What has happened is terrible, so many victims, that’s a horrible thing,” de Jonge said in a translated statement from his website. “I have my story done and I would like to leave it. How happy I am for myself and my family that I was on this flight and did not take it the last moment; my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery in which so many people are paid. Attention should be paid to the victims and survivors. Wishing everyone affected by this disaster a lot of strength.”
De Jonge told RTV Oost he still plans on flying to Malaysia; and despite his close calls with disaster, he is not too worried about the flight.
“I have been lucky twice,” he reportedly said.