Malaysia Airlines have released a statement in response to allegations that Fariq Ab Hamid, a co-pilot on the missing flight MH370, invited South African tourists into the cockpit of previous flights where he smoked cigarettes and took photographs with the pair.
"Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer, Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously," the statement read.
"We are shocked by these allegations," the statement continued.
In a stunning lapse of security, Fariq Abdul Hamid and his fellow pilot invited passengers Jonti Roos and Jaan Maree into the cockpit for the flight from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, breaking Malaysia Airlines rules.
Roos, a tourist travelling Australia, told American television show A Current Affair how Hamid posed for pictures with her and her friend and smoked cigarettes throughout their encounter.
"We wished they would stop smoking because it is such a confined space. But you can't exactly tell a pilot to stop smoking," said the South African tourist.
"At one stage they were pretty much turned around the whole time in their seats talking to us," Roos said.
"They were so engaged in conversation that he took my friends hand and he was looking at her palm and said "your hand is very creased. That means you're a creative person" and commented on her nail polish."
Despite the allegations, Malaysian Airlines stated that they wanted to remain focused on the crisis at hand and assist the families of those on board the missing MH370 flight.
"We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.
"The welfare of both the crew and passenger's families remain our focus. At the same time, the security and safety of our passengers is of the utmost importance to us," the statement concluded.
The mystery surrounding the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has deepened with the Chinese media reporting that several of the passengers' mobile phones were connecting when called by relatives, but the calls were not picked up.
Two men from different locations in the Malaysian state of Kelantan have claimed to have spotted the aircraft plunging into the sea at approximately the same location and time.