Indonesia AirAsia QZ 8501 is Malaysian or Indonesian?

AirAsia Airbus A320 9M-AFN Side view
AirAsia Airbus A320 9M-AFN Side view

Malaysia has already been hit by two major aviation disasters, namely Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 and Flight MH 17. AirAsia, the leading budget carrier of Asia starts operation in Malaysia. Therefore, the recent Indonesia AirAsia incident is also associated with Malaysia although it has very little connection with Malaysia / Malaysian government.

Indonesia AirAsia Ownership Information

Contrary to popular belief, AirAsia Berhad does not hold majority share in Indonesia AirAsia. This is because Indonesian law does not allow majority foreign ownership of domestic civil aviation operations.

 

Indonesia, not Malaysia

For Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ 8501, we must keep in mind of the following:

  • Flight QZ 8501 is an Indonesian aircraft, bound by Indonesian rules and regulations.
  • The flight also departed from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore. The flight lost contact with Indonesian air traffic controller in Indonesian Airspace.

There is quite a number of internet users mistaken this as a Malaysian aircraft:

Comment on AirAsia Facebook page  141228 1712
Comment on AirAsia Facebook page 141228 1712

This one is taken on AirAsia Facebook page.

 

Comment on RT.com page  141228 1712
Comment on RT.com page 141228 1712

Another screenshot taken from Russian-based news portal also indicated the same sentiment.

We hope that news outlets should be more specific in reporting news to prevent false news and sentiments being raised, especially in light of two aviation disasters involving Malaysia before.

It is important for us to stop the blame game and let the respective government(s) and authorities focus on their investigation instead.

Nevertheless, AirAsia is one of the safest airline in the world with no prior incident with fatalities.

AirAsia (Indonesia) Flight QZ8501 Incident

Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-216; PK-AXC at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), 2011 By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-216; PK-AXC at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), 2011 By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

DEVELOPING STORY

KUALA LUMPUR, December 28th 2014 (Sunday): An Indonesia AirAsia flight (QZ 8501) from Surabaya, Indonesia has lost contact with air traffic control on  at 6:17 AM (local time, Indonesia) – 2317 hrs GMT.

All times are stated in Malaysian Standard Time (MST, GMT +8:00) unless specified otherwise.

An official from Indonesian Transport Ministry, Hadi Mustofa said the plane asked for unusual route before losing contact with air traffic controller.

The flight is scheduled to arrive Singapore at 8:30 AM but it has yet to arrive.

It is currently unknown whether Flight QZ 8501 has anything to do with the weather or not.

 

Flight Path

AirAsia QZ 8501 Flight Path - Picture from flightradar24.com
AirAsia QZ 8501 Flight Path – Picture from flightradar24.com

Shortly after departure, the aircraft disappeared at cruising altitude and speed. Main article: AirAsia QZ 8501 flight path

It deviated few degrees by heading from it original route shortly before it disappeared. From weather data near to the point of lost contact, the aircraft is seen traversing through bad weather area.

 

Passengers and Crew

The Airbus A320-200 had 155 passengers for QZ 8501. The total figure given by TIME is 162.

The flight comprise of 149 Indonesians, 2 Koreans, 1 Singaporean, 1 Briton and 1 Malaysian (source).

The pilot is identified as Iriyanto.

 

The Aircraft

The aircraft in flight QZ 8501, Airbus A320-200 is registered as PK-AXC. The ICAO-designated PK-prefix means it is registered in Indonesia.

The aircraft has just 4.5 hours of fuel left at the time of disappearance.

 

Search and Rescue Process

Click here for search and rescue effort by country

The aircraft is confirmed missing as of 7:55 AM while the last contact occured at 7:24 AM (6:24 AM Western Indonesia Time).

Day 1: Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia worked together to search for the missing plane. Australia has also offered assistance of deemed necessary. No positive results have been found.

Day 2: Royal Australian Air Force and Navy has joined the search. As of 11:21 AM, no positive results have been found.

 

Jurisdiction

The aircraft is registered in Indonesia and owned by an Indonesian company, AirAsia Indonesia. Besides, the incident does not occur in Malaysia. Therefore, Malaysian government is not involved with this incident. Read more here.

 

Contact Information

AirAsia has established an emergency call centre for family and friends of those who are affected. The phone number is +622129850801.

Please check back this page for updates.

Source: CNBC