Emirates boss Sir Tim Clark has said the MH17 disaster could have been avoided if knowledge of the anti-aircraft missiles operating in the war zone had been shared widely within the industry.

He is now calling for an information "clearing house" to be set up to warn airlines of any future potential threats in an area.

"There was evidence that these missiles had been on site in situ for a number of weeks beforehand.

"Emirates did not know of that fact and I don't think many others did," he told the BBC.

Clark said it was likely that every airline would have avoided the danger zone if they had been made aware.

"Had we known that, we would probably have reacted in a manner that would have seen a complete avoidance of Ukrainian airspace, probably as an industry.

"We have a concern that that information was known by certain stakeholders... and should have been passed... at least to the industry, to the organisations that regulate the industry.

"We understand now that certain carriers were aware of that and had already taken avoidance action."

Currently airliners do not have to pass on information to each other and the decision of flying over a war zone is down to each individual company, based on information from their own government and local traffic control.

MH17 flight is suspected of being downed by pro-Russian rebels. All 298 people on board the aircraft were killed.

Moscow blames the Ukrainian air force for the shooting of the Boeing 777 carrier.

Earlier this week, a preliminary report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) into the Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine has suggested that the plane broke up in the air due to "a large number of high-energy objects" that penetrated it from the outside.

It also added: "There are no indications that the crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew".