AirAsia plane tragedy opens still unhealed wounds

 

 

 

Family members of passengers on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 gather at Juanda International Airport

in Surabaya, Indonesia, Dec. 29, 2014. Air Asia Indonesia has released information about the

162 passengers and crew members on Flight QZ8501, which lost contact with the air traffic control

on Sunday morning of December 28.   Photo by Zulkarnain

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY  |  2014-12-30 07:52:59

>>  AirAsia flight plan dangerous: Australian aviation expert

By Patrick Whiteley

An Australian aviation expert said on Tuesday of December 30 human error undoubtedly led to the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501 after the pilots flew directly into a well- known danger zone above the Java Sea.

Expert Neil Hansford said that either the Indonesian captain or the French first officer plotted a dangerous flight plan.

He said veteran pilots avoided the area where the plane is believed to have gone down and would not fly through it.

“They call it ‘the thunderstorm factory,’” Hansford told the Nine Network.

“You plan to go around it. You don’t plan to go through it.”

He said whoever plotted the flight plan made a fatal error.

“Whoever did the flight plan – now we don’t know whether it was the French first officer or the captain himself,” Hansford said.

“Whether they read the meteorology right they were given in Surubaya who dropped the ball? And how well did they communicate? One whose basic language is Bahasa, and the other guy ‘s basic language is in French.

“How good is their common English between the two of them?”

He concluded by emphatically saying it was pilot error.

“I’ve said all along it was never going to be engineering,” Hansford said.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON  |  2014-12-30 07:34:36

>>  Pentagon confirms Indonesia’s request for U.S. aid in search for missing airplane

By Mu Dong

The Indonesian government has requested U.S. assistance in the search for the AirAsia jet that has gone into missing with 162 passengers on board since Sunday, U. S. Department of Defense confirmed on Monday of December 29.

“The details of that request, which was made through the U.S. State Department, are still being coordinated but could include some air, surface and sub-surface detection capabilities,” said DOD Press Secretary John Kirby in a statement.

“We stand ready to assist in any way possible,” said Kirby.

The jet, which was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, went missing not long after takeoff Sunday.

The rescue efforts expanded Monday, with more countries joining the sea and aerial search operations for the ill-fated Airbus A320- 200 plane.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON  |  2014-12-30 06:19:27

>>  U.S. reviewing Indonesian request for help in locating missing plane

By Yi Aijun

The United States said on Monday of December 29 that it was reviewing Indonesia’s request for aid in locating a missing AirAsia plane with 162 passengers on board.

State Department spokesman Jeffrey Rathke told reporters that the American Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, was in ” close contact” with Indonesian officials and Washington received a request for help from the Indonesian government Monday.

“We are reviewing that request to find out how best we can meet Indonesia’s request for assistance,” he said at a daily news briefing, adding the process would take some time.

The rescue efforts expanded Monday, with more countries joining the sea and aerial search operation for the ill-fated jetliner, an Airbus A320-200 that disappeared from radar Sunday en route from Surabaya in Indonesia’s east Java to Singapore after the pilot requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather.

The flight lost contact with the ground after the air traffic control consented to the pilot’s request to change flight route but not climb higher.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2014-12-29 23:22:31

>>  Chinese military jet, vessel join search for missing AirAsia flight

China on Monday of December 29 announced that it will send aircraft and vessel to join the search and rescue work for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501.

“After consultations with the Indonesian government, the Chinese government has decided to send aircraft and vessel to search for the missing AirAsia flight,” the defense ministry said in a statement released Monday night.

A navy frigate on routine patrol in the South China Sea is heading for the waters where the jet went missing, the statement said.

An Air Force jet is making preparations and coordinating with the countries on the flight route, the statement said.

Earlier, an Indonesian official told the media that the missing jet with 162 people on board was believed to have sunken into the bottom of the sea.

Should the projection be true, Indonesia needed to cooperate with other countries to bring the wreckage to the surface, said Bambang Sulistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

 

 

 

 

 

BANGKOK  |  2014-12-29 22:47:52

>>  Thailand ready to assist in search for missing AirAsia plane: PM

By Zhang Chunxiao and Chang Tiantong

Thailand stands ready to assist the Indonesian government “in any way possible” with the search for a missing AirAsia plane with 162 people on board, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday of December 29.

“I have instructed all relevant ministries to be on standby to assist promptly in the ongoing search and rescue operations,” Prayut said.

Flight QZ8501 disappeared en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday after the pilot requested his flight plan be changed due to stormy weather.

No significant result has been found in the second-day search for it on Monday.

“At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to all passengers and crew members of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 and their families,” Prayut said.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 20:56:50

>>  Indonesian president asks ministry to review aviation procedures after plane misses

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Mondayof December 29 asked the transport ministry to check whether all procedures and process in aviation are in line with those requested by the international civil aviation organization following the loss of an AirAsia plane with 162 people on board.

“I have asked the transport ministry to review all procedures in aviation and all process in flight of planes maximally, to ensure they are in accordance with the rules of the international civil aviation organization,” President Widodo told a press conference.

The president urged the National Transport Safety Committee to work fast in uncovering the cause of the loss of the ill-fated AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501.

On the searching operation, South Korea will join Malaysia, Singapore and Australia on Tuesday to help Indonesia to find the plane, he said.

Malaysia has deployed three ships and one plane, Australia has dispatched two planes, and Singapore have sent two planes and two ships, said President Widodo.

Indonesia has deployed 21 planes and 24 ships, he said.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA/PANGKALPINANG, Indonesia  |  2014-12-29 20:31:47

>>  Suspicious objects spotted as search for missing AirAsia plane expands

By He Jing

Suspicious objects were detected on Monday of December 29 in the Java Sea where an AirAsia plane disappeared as the search operation expanded with more countries joining the sea and aerial hunt.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told a press conference at Surabaya airport that he received reports that an Australian Orion surveillance plane had spotted suspicious objects near the Nangka Island, 1,120 km from the location where the jetliner lost contact.

However, the vice president said he could not confirm whether the objects were parts of the missing QZ8501 flight.

They “have not been clarified,” he said, adding that rescuers and searchers were verifying the reports.

Meanwhile, Air Force spokesman Hadi Tjahnanto said an Indonesian helicopter had spotted an oil slick some 100 nautical miles (185 km) off the east coast of the Belitung Island.

“We haven’t been able to confirm, however, whether it was the fuel of the AirAsia aircraft,” he said.

Earlier, an Indonesian official told the media that the missing jet with 162 people on board was believed to have sunken into the bottom of the sea.

“Because the coordinate that was given to us and the evolution from the calculation point of the flight track is at sea, our early conjecture is that the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” said Bambang Sulistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

Should the projection be true, Indonesia needed to cooperate with other countries to bring the wreckage to the surface, he added.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared Sunday en route from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java to Singapore after the pilot requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather.

The flight lost contact with the ground after the air traffic control consented to the pilot’s request to change flight route but it did not approve the request to raise its height of flight to 34,000 feet (10,303 meters).

The aircraft, which sent no distress signal, must have run out its fuel if it kept flying. said Djoko Murjatmodjo, director general of air transport of the Indonesian Transport Ministry.

Aircraft and ships from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have been deployed to assist Indonesia’s search efforts, which is centered on waters around the Belitung Island in the Java Sea across from Kalimantan on the Borneo Island.

Sutono, a spokesman at the search and rescue command at the Pangkalpinang airport, said on Monday, “Indonesia engages six vessels from Basarnas, the Navy and the fishery and maritime ministry. From the air, Indonesia dispatches four helicopters and 15 fixed-wing planes.”

“Singapore and Malaysia sent C-130 Hercules planes each. Meanwhile Australia sent two maritime patrol planes AP-3C Orion,” he told Xinhua.

Areas combed by those planes and vessels were focused on five points in a large quadrant square perspective map that spans to the Indonesian waters near Singapore, he said.

According to AirAsia, a Malaysia-based budget airline, 155 of those on board flight QZ8501 were Indonesians, with three South Koreans and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia, Britain and France, including 16 children and an infant.

The ill-fated plane vanished from the radar screen at 6:17 a.m. local time Sunday (23:17 GMT Saturday), 42 minutes after it took off from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province.

After Sunday’s mishap, the Indonesian government vowed to check the safety standard of all AirAsia planes operating in Indonesia.

“We will carry out ramp checks, and also review operation of AirAsia in Indonesia to convince customers that all the activities will be better in the future,” Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told a press conference at the Jakarta airport.

The incident is possibly the third Malaysia-linked air disaster this year. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, disappeared on March 8 after diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing course. No traces of the jetliner have been found despite massive search efforts.

Months later, MH17, also a Boeing 777, went down on July 17 in the war-torn eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 aboard.

AirAsia, a low-cost carrier established in 2001, has dominated cheap traveling in the region for years with about 100 destinations and affiliate companies in several Asian countries.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2014-12-29 19:38:04

 

AirAsia plane tragedy

opens still unhealed wounds

 

 

By Wang Ruoyao and Cao Ting

 

 

Jia Yu knows all too well how those whose loved ones were onboard missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 feel, since she was in a similar position nine months ago.

“I reposted the news [about the missing plane] the minute I saw it online. It brought back painful memories,” she said.

Yang Jiabao, Jia’s close friend from northeast China’s Liaoning Province, was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — along with 238 other passengers, 154 of whom were Chinese — when it vanished on March 8. The plane was never found.

Jia finds it hard to comprehend how these tragedies can even happen in this day and age.

“I’m really confused — Is ‘disappearance’ now a new type of accident? We didn’t hear much about it before,” she said.

Relatives of Chinese passengers onboard MH370 have reached out to their distraught counterparts, who were mostly Indonesians.

“We must be strong, and believe in miracles,” commented a group of relatives of those aboard MH370 on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblog service.

Although no Chinese citizens were on the AirAsia jet, the Chinese public are keeping a close eye on search and rescue developments. According to Sina Weibo, posts on the topic have seen billions of hits on the platform.

Flight QZ8501, carrying 162 people, went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday after the pilot requested his flight plan be changed due to stormy weather.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said at a televised press conference on Sunday evening that the jet might have crashed but there was no information about where it might be.

The plane was operated by AirAsia Indonesia, a unit of Malaysia-based carrier AirAsia.

Another Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft, flight MH17, was shot down over Ukraine in July.

“It is horrifying to imagine that more families are feeling the same despair [...] I guess the new tragedy may reopen the old wounds of the families of MH370 victims,” wrote Jin Doudou, a Sina Weibo user who posts under the name “Jindoudouhaha”, and she is right.

“The incident brought back the torment we suffered in the days following March 8 [...] We really don’t want to look back,” wrote the relatives’ committee.

Nearly 300 fruitless days after the aircraft went missing, many relatives continue to attend the routine updates on the search and rescue efforts for MH370 in Beijing. Media reports say four elderly relatives have passed away, partly due to stress.

Spokesman with the relatives’ committee Jiang Hui told a NetEase reporter that all grieving relatives can do now is to keep asking for more satellite data from Malaysia Airlines, “even though the media often posts more comprehensive, faster information”.

Jia Yu says she regularly burns paper money in memory of her friend.

“When I do this, I am supposed to face the direction of where she was buried. But I don’t know where she is. You know, that’s the saddest part,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

SINGAPORE  |  2014-12-29 18:56:56

>>  Families, teacher, maid on missing AirAsia flight

By Chen Jipeng

The boyfriend of Florentina Maria Widodo, a passenger on the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, waited anxiously outside the relatives holding area at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Monday afternoon of December 29.

Obviously in shock, Andy Paul Chen gave short answers to questions from reporters.

“I’m going there now to meet her family members,” he told reporters in Chinese.

Several minutes later, a lady who appears to be his relative called for him to leave for a flight to Surabaya, Indonesia, where the search and rescue operations are underway.

Widodo, 26, was reportedly working in Singapore as a biology teacher at a local school after graduating from the National University of Singapore. She reportedly graduated from the National Institute of Education last year.

The AirAsia flight vanished from on the route between Surabaya and Singapore on Sunday morning. Reporters and families soon started showing up at the families holding area at Changi Airport, the destination of the missing flight.

Fewer relatives turned up at the airport on Monday. Most of the 162 passengers and crew on the missing flight were Indonesian nationals. Separately, the representative of a maid agency showed up at the airport on Monday to confirm information about a maid who was on the flight.

Changi Airport Group said that 47 relatives of 57 affected passengers registered for help at the airport on Sunday, and 16 of them left for Surabaya as of Sunday night.

The passengers included some families. One of the relatives who did not give her name said that she had four relatives onboard the flight, including a 12-year-old and a 17-year-old. Another said that her fiance and his family members were on the missing flight.

The only Singaporean national on the plane was Zoe Choi, who was traveling with his father Choi Chi Man, a Briton who was based in Indonesia as a senior management member at an energy firm. He is a Hong Kong resident who holds a British passport. Zoe’s mother and brother reportedly traveled back to Singapore from Surabaya earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 18:27:13

>>  Indonesia says verifying suspicious objects found in waters over missing AirAsia plane

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Monday of December 29 that searchers and rescuers were verifying suspicious objects spotted in the Java Sea where an AirAsia plane disappeared on Sunday.

He told a press conference at Surabaya airport that he received reports that an Australian Orion surveillance plane had spotted suspicious objects near Nangka island, 1,120 km from the location where the jetliner lost contact.

However, the vice president said he could not confirm whether the objects were parts of the missing QZ8501 flight.

They “have not been clarified,” he said.

Earlier, Jakarta’s Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto said he was informed that an Australian aircraft had found suspicious objects off Nangka island near central Kalimantan.

Meanwhile, Air Force spokesman Hadi Tjahnanto said an Indonesian helicopter had spotted an oil slick some 100 nautical miles (185 km) off the east coast of Belitung island.

“We haven’t been able to confirm, however, whether it was the fuel of the AirAsia aircraft,” he said.

An Airbus A320-200 of the Malaysia-based AirAsia vanished from the radar screen Sunday morning soon after it took off from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province.

The Singapore-bound plane carried 155 passengers and seven crew members, including 16 children and an infant. Foreign nationals aboard the plane were from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, France and Britain.

An international search operation to locate the missing plane resumed on Monday in the Java Sea with aircraft from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore joining the sea and aerial hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

PANGKALPINANG, Indonesia  |   2014-12-29 15:30:11

>>  Joint search underway in Indonesian waters for missing AirAsia plane

An international operation to locate the missing AirAsia plane has resumed on Monday of December 29 near Bangka Belitung islands in the Java Sea with aircraft from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore joining the hunt.

Sutono, a spokesman at the search and rescue command at Pangkalpinang airport, said searching efforts in waters between Bangka Belitung and West Kalimantan provinces were jointly carried out by Indonesian authorities and planes sent by Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

“Indonesia engages 6 vessels from the Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Navy and Fishery and Maritime ministry. From the air, Indonesia dispatches 4 helicopters and 15 fixed-wing planes,” Sutono told Xinhua on Monday.

“Singapore and Malaysia sent C-130 Hercules planes each. Meanwhile Australia sent 2 maritime patrol planes AP-3C Orion.”

Areas combed by those planes and vessels were focused on five points in a large quadrant square perspective map that spans to the Indonesian waters near Singapore.

He said three points have been designated in the north side of the map, and the other two were located in the south part.

According to Sutono, search and rescue efforts in the north side are carried out by Indonesian vessels and planes, while foreign aircraft are tasked to comb the south part of the quadrant map.

Another senior officer said as of now the searching efforts have yet to find any significant clues.

“The searching efforts are much depended on weather. Should it be good, the searching can be conducted up to maximum level,” Eko Prayitno from Bangka Belitung district military command told Xinhua.

Flight QZ8501 of the Malaysia-based AirAsia went missing Sunday morning soon after it took off from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province. The Singapore-bound Airbus A320-200 carried 155 passengers and seven crew members, including 16 children and an infant.

Foreign nationals aboard the plane were from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, France and Britain.

 

 

 

 

 

MANILA  |  2014-12-29 19:57:33

>>  Philippine military ready to help search for missing AirAsia plane

By CEMU and Tan Weibing

The Philippine military is ready to extend assistance in search for the missing AirAsia plane, a senior officer said on Monday of December 29.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. alerted military units conducting maritime patrols over Philippine territorial waters to be extra observant and report any unusual sightings that may provide possible leads in locating missing AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Catapang also placed these units on on-call status and directed them to stand ready to provide assistance when needed.

Specifically, Catapang said, the Philippine Navy and Air Force have been alerted and are placing on standby two C-130s, two Fokker planes, one Islander and the Navy vessel PF-16.

An Airbus A320-200 of the Malaysia-based AirAsia vanished from the radar screen Sunday morning soon after it took off from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province.

The Singapore-bound plane carried 155 passengers and seven crew members, including 16 children and an infant. Most people on board were Indonesians, and foreign nationals were from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, France and Britain.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |   2014-12-29 14:41:35

>>  Indonesia to review AirAsia safety

The Indonesian government will check the safety standard of all AirAsia planes operating in Indonesia after the missing of one of the budget airliner planes on Sunday with 162 people on board, a minister said here on Monday of December 29.

“We will carry out ramp checks, and also review operation of AirAsia in Indonesia to convince (customers) in the future that all the activities will be better,” Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told a press conference at the main Soekarno-Hatta airport.

The review aims to convince consumers in Indonesia, a country with fast-growing aviation market, that the operation and business activities of the budget airliner would be better in the future, Minister Jonan said.

Indonesia has paid serious attention to the safety standard of aviation as the country had suffered from a series of air accidents years ago and the European Union imposed a travel ban on many Indonesian airliners in 2007, many of them budget airliners.

Two years later, with the improvement of safety, the union lifted the ban.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago country with a population of over 238 million and a growing middle class, is a potential market for budget airline industry as the government puts a priority to build air transports to connect over 17,500 islands.

Searching for missing AirAsia plane that lost contact at waters between Tanjung Pandan of Bangka Belitung province and Pontianak city of West Kalimantan province is underway.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |    2014-12-29 14:12:51

>>  Search for missing AirAsia flight expands, plane presumed at sea bottom

By He Jing

The search and rescue operation for a missing AirAsia plane expanded on Monday of December 29 with more countries joining the sea and aerial search while an Indonesian official assumed that the ill-fated jetliner is likely at the bottom of the sea.

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency told the media that the missing jet with 162 people on board is believed to have sunken into the bottom of the sea based on the coordinates given and evaluations.

“Because the coordinate that was given to us and the evolution from the calculation point of the flight track is at sea, our early conjecture is that the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” said Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency.

Should the projection be true, Indonesia needs to cooperate with other countries to bring the wreckage to the surface, he added.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared Sunday en route from Surabaya in Indonesia’s east Java to Singapore after the pilot requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather.

The flight lost contact with the ground after the air traffic control consented to the pilot’s request to change flight route but it did not approve the request to raise its height to 34,000 feet (10,303 meters).

The aircraft, which sent no distress signal, must have run out its fuel if it kept flying. said Djoko Murjatmodjo, director general of air transport of Indonesian Transport Ministry.

Aircraft and ships from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have been deployed to assist Indonesia’s search efforts, which is centered on waters around the islands of Bangka and Belitung in the Java Sea across from Kalimantan on Borneo island.

Five aircraft have been sent to search for the plane, including two C-130 military transport aircraft and a Boeing 737, according to Indonesian air force.

The army has been combing the land where the plane was believed to go missing.

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion equipped with sophisticated search equipment took off from the northern city of Darwin early Monday as Singapore deployed two Air Force C-130 aircraft and two warships to join the operation.

Malaysia has also dispatched three vessels and three planes for the hunt.

AirAsia, a Malaysia-based budget airline, said 155 of those on board flight QZ8501 were Indonesian, with three South Koreans and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia, Britain and France.

The Airbus A320, which took off Sunday morning from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province, was about halfway to Singapore when it vanished from radar. The jet had been airborne for about 42 minutes.

A total of 155 passengers and seven crew members were on board, including 16 children and an infant.

The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the co-pilot a total of 2,275 flying hours, according to AirAsia. The plane had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on Nov.16, it added.

The incident came at the end of a disastrous year for the Malaysian aviation. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, disappeared on March 8 after diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing course. No traces of the jetliner have been found despite massive search efforts.

Months later, MH17, also a Boeing 777, went down on July 17 in the war-torn eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 aboard.

AirAsia, a low-cost carrier, has dominated cheap traveling in the region for years with about 100 destinations and affiliate companies in several Asian countries.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2014-12-29 14:06:27

>>  Search for missing AirAsia flight underway, families wait

By Liu Yue

An AirAsia passenger plane that went missing with 162 people on board is likely at the bottom of the sea, Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency chief said on Monday of December 29.

“We assume the missing jet at the bottom of the sea based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea,” Bambang Soelistyo told media.

He added this was the preliminary suspicion and needs verification.

Of the 155 passengers on board the plane flying from Indonesia to Singapore, 149 are Indonesians.

Soelistyo said Indonesia did not have submersible vehicles and other equipment required to retrieve the plane from the seabed, but that it is reaching out to other countries for help if necessary.

“Due to the lack of technology that we have, I have coordinated with our foreign minister so we will borrow from other countries which have offered,” he said.

On its way from Indonesia’s Surabaya to Singapore, the AirAsia jetliner lost contact with ground control about 42 minutes after its takeoff at 5:35 a.m. Jakarta time on Sunday (2235 GMT Saturday).

AirAsia said the plane, which was on the submitted flight plan route, had requested to turn left and climb to 10,360 meters to avoid clouds before it disappeared from radar.

A search and rescue operation was launched Sunday involving Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia near Bangka Belitung islands in the Java Sea over which the jetliner lost contact with ground control. The search was suspended at 5 p.m. Jakarta time on Sunday (1000 GMT) due to darkness.

The operation resumed earlier Monday as planes and helicopters have moved to the waters where the jetliner was believed to have lost, Ahmad Toha, staff at the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency, told Xinhua by phone.

“The agency has broadcast information to ships that were passing through the waters to join in monitoring the seas and asked them to report whether they found any signs of crash,” said Toha.

The Indonesian army will conduct search on land around the scene where the plane was suspected to go missing, said Djoko Murjatmodjo, director general of air transport of Indonesian Transport Ministry.

Also on Monday, Singapore deployed another C-130 aircraft, the formidable-class frigate (RSS Supreme) and missile corvette (RSS Valour), to aid in the operation.

A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion also took off from the northern city of Darwin early Monday to help in the task, the Australian Defense Force said.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called Indonesian President Joko Widodo, pledging assistance.

Meanwhile, South Korea said Monday that it plans to send a surveillance plane to join the Indonesia-led search for the missing plane.

China is ready to send aircraft and vessels to join the search and rescue work for missing AsiaAir flight QZ8501, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Monday.

China has told Indonesia that it is willing to provide other assistance as needed, Hua said.

AirAsia said Sunday night in a statement that its management had met with members of the families of those on board the missing plane to update them on the latest developments and reconfirmed their commitment to offering assistance.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. We are cooperating with the relevant authorities to the fullest extent to determine the cause of this incident,” said Sunu Widyatmoko, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia.

He also said the airline had already mobilized a support team to help the families, including accommodation and travel arrangements. A briefing center has also been set up in Surabaya for the families, he added.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 13:43:18

>>  Indonesia to review AirAsia safety

The Indonesian government will check the safety of all AirAsia planes operating in Indonesia after the missing of one of the budget airliner planes on Sunday with 162 people on board, a minister said here on Monday of December 29.

“We will carry out checks, and also review operation of AirAsia in Indonesia to convince (customers) in the future that all the activities will be better,” Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told a press conference at main Soekarno-Hatta airport.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR  |  2014-12-29 12:43:01

>>  Malaysia deploys more assets for search of missing AirAsia flight

By Zhao Bochao

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said here on Monday of December 29 that Malaysia has deployed six assets to assist the search and rescue efforts for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, which is led by Indonesian authorities.

He said Malaysia has deployed three vessels and three aircraft for the search operation.

“The Royal Malaysian Navy vessels, the KD PAHANG, KD LEKIP and KD LEKIU, have been deployed and will comb the entire span of the search area,” Liow said, adding that the Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft have been assigned and are currently searching the area east of PuJau Belitung.

Liow also said that as the flight QZ8501 was registered in Indonesia and the state of occurency was also in Indonesia, it was an Indonesian plane. Malaysia was assisting the Indonesian side in the search and rescue efforts, he added.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR  |  2014-12-29 12:11:38

>>  AirAsia shareprice falls in knee-jerk reaction to plane missing

By Hu Guangyao

Malaysia’s low-cost carrier AirAsia’s shareprice on Monday of December 29 fell to a low of RM2.56 (about 0.73 U.S. dollar) in a knee-jerk reaction following the disappearance of Flight QZ8501 in Indonesia on Sunday.

At 9:09 a.m., AirAsia fell 23 sen to RM2.71. Turnover was 24.21 million shares at prices ranging from RM2.56 to RM2.71.

CIMB Equities Research, one of the major finance research organizations in Malaysia, said on Monday that there are two key concerns for AirAsia: to what extent will IAA’s passenger demand in Indonesia fall, and for how long; to what extent will the Indonesian incident affect the Malaysian and Thai operations.

“Of less concern are the costs related to claims and salvage, which should be adequately covered by insurance,” it said.

“We believe that Indonesian demand should not be too adversely affected for too long, and the contagion effect should be limited for now,” it said.

Economists here believed that due to this incident, AirAsia’s share price is expected to be under pressure in the immediate term, but they also pointed out that AirAsia remains fundamentally strong and is expected to benefit from lower jet fuel costs in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR  |   2014-12-29 12:05:57

>>  AirAsia shareprice falls in knee-jerk reaction to plane missing

By Hu Guangyao

Malaysia’s low-cost carrier AirAsia’s shareprice fell to a low of RM2.56 (about 0.73 U.S. dollar) in a knee-jerk reaction following the disappearance of Flight QZ8501 in Indonesia on Sunday of December 28.

At 9:09 a.m., AirAsia fell 23 sen to RM2.71. Turnover was 24.21 million shares at prices ranging from RM2.56 to RM2.71.

CIMB Equities Research, one of the major finance research organizations in Malaysia, said on Monday that there are two key concerns for AirAsia: to what extent will IAA’s passenger demand in Indonesia fall, and for how long; to what extent will the Indonesian incident affect the Malaysian and Thai operations.

“Of less concern are the costs related to claims and salvage, which should be adequately covered by insurance,” it said.

“We believe that Indonesian demand should not be too adversely affected for too long, and the contagion effect should be limited for now,” it said.

Economists here believed that due to this incident, AirAsia’s share price is expected to be under pressure in the immediate term, but they also pointed out that AirAsia remains fundamentally strong and is expected to benefit from lower jet fuel costs in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 11:36:25

>>  Missing AirAsia plane maybe at sea bottom: Indonesian official

The AirAsia plane with 162 people on board may has fallen into the bottom of the sea, 24 hours after the jetliner vanished from radar en route from Indonesia to Singapore, said Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief here on Monday of December 29.

“We assume the missing jet at the bottom of the sea based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea,” Bambang Soelistyo told the media at the Soekarno-Hatta main airport.

It can be expanded based on evaluation, he noted.

Should the projection be true, Indonesia needs to cooperate with other countries to bring the wreckage to the surface, Soelistyo said. “We still do not have the equipment, we will borrow the devices from other countries,” he said.

The official warned that the current may cause the wreckage of the plane to move.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |   2014-12-29 10:57:40

>>  Urgent: Missing AirAsia plane may at sea bottom — Indonesian official

The AirAsia plane which vanished on Sunday with 162 people on board en route from Indonesia to Singapore is likely at the bottom of the sea, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief said on Monday of December 29.

“We assume missing jet at the bottom of the sea based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea,” Bambang Soelistyo told the media.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |   2014-12-29 10:55:10
Urgent: Indonesia’s missing plane may be at bottom of sea

Head of Indonesian Search and Rescue Office F. Henry Bambang Sulistyo said on Monday of December 29 that the missing AirAsia plane that lost contact on Sunday may be at the bottom of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY  |  2014-12-29 10:17:16

>>  Australian aircraft joins search for missing AsiaAir flight

By Patrick Whiteley

An Australian military aircraft on Monday of December 29 joined the search for missing AsiaAir flight QZ8501, which vanished over the Java Sea on Sunday.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop phoned her Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, shortly after the plane’s disappearance was made public and offered assistance, she said.

On Monday morning, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion aircraft took off from Darwin to assist with the Indonesian- led search.

“Our focus at this point must be on finding the plane … at this stage we are just hoping and praying that some passengers and crew can be rescued,” Bishop told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television. “The search and rescue operation has been under way for some time, it was stopped overnight because of weather, so obviously the weather in the region is having an impact.

“It’s coming up 24 hours since the plane lost contact with air traffic control in Jakarta. So whilst we hope for the best as time goes on I’m afraid our fears may be confirmed.”

Bishop told Marsudi that aircraft disasters had brought Australia and Indonesia closer together in 2014.

“I was talking to Foreign Minister Marsudi about Malaysia Airlines MH17 because she was Indonesia’s ambassador to the Netherlands during the MH17 tragedy,” she said.

“Indonesia lost 12 citizens on that flight, so we were discussing how sad it was that so often when we speak in relation to an emergency or a tragedy involving an airline.”

Australian defence force chief, air chief marshal Mark Binskin, said the aircraft involved in the search specialized in search and rescue.

“The RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft has a well-proven capability in search and rescue and carries maritime search radar coupled with infrared and electro-optical sensors to support the visual observation capabilities provided by its highly trained crew members,” Binskin said in a statement.

Singapore, Malaysia and India have also offered to assist the search effort.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 08:57:17

>>  Indonesia resumes search for missing AirAsia plane

Search and rescue operation for an AirAsia plane that went missing on Sunday with 162 people on board resumed on Monday morning of December 29, rescuer said here. “Some plane and helicopters have moved to the waters where the jetliner was believed to have lost since 05:30 a.m. Jakarta time,” Ahmad Toha, official in charge at the national search and rescue office, told Xinhua by phone.

The operation was halted at 17:00 p.m. Jakarta time on Sunday due to darkness at the highly suspected area on the waters near the Bangka Belitung islands, he said. “The agency has broadcast information to ships that were passing through the waters to join in monitoring the seas and asked them to report whether they found any signs of crash,”said Toha.

The army will conduct search on land around the scene where the plane was believed to go missing, according to Djoko Murjatmodjo, Indonesia’s acting director general of transportation.

Flight QZ8501 lost contact with the ground after the air traffic control consent to the pilot’s request to change flight route but it did not approve the request to increase its height to 34,000 feet, said Murjatmodjo.

The Airbus A320-200, which set off from Surabaya to Singapore, lost contact with air traffic control about 42 minutes after its takeoff at 5:35 a.m. local time (2235 GMT Saturday) from Surabaya in Indonesia’s East Java province.

There were 155 passengers and seven crew members on board the flight.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA  |  2014-12-29 08:00:40

>>  Urgent: Search for missing AirAsia jetliner resumes — official

By He Jing

Indonesia resumed on Monday of December 29 the search for an AirAsia passenger plane that went missing more than 24 hours ago on a flight from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board, a search and rescue official said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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