Malaysia Airlines (MAS) today confirmed that both pilot and co-pilot had underwent the psychological screenings required by the airline.

Such screenings, said MAS CEO Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, are imposed on new pilots and conducted by doctors through interviews.

“It is also something that we check yearly and six-monthly depending on how old they are,” he said.

On another question during the daily press conference this evening, Ahmad Jauhari was unable to say if both knew each other or had worked together for a long time.

“For the pilot, co-pilot, there is an automated roster system.

"It is not necessarily a need for them to know each other, but we do have a large community of pilots and they tend to know each other in a group. Sometimes they don’t,” he said, adding that there are more than a thousand pilots working for MAS.

Focus on deliberate act

The pilots have been under the media spotlight since the plane vanished on March 8, especially after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak indicated that evidence points towards a “deliberate” act.

Police have interrogated more than 100 friends and families of the two, and have even confiscated a flight simulator belonging to the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

They are also investigating an apparent call to Zaharie minutes before the take off.

Recently, the New Zealand Herald had quoted an unnamed pilot who claimed to have known Zaharie, saying that the pilot could have taken the Boeing 777-200ER for a “last joy ride”.

USA Today reported that investigators believe that Zaharie was ‘solely responsible’ for the incident.

Friends and family of Zaharie have vehemently denied such conclusions, calling them unfair speculations that are putting Zaharie through a ‘trial by media’.