World: AirAsia boss ‘devastated’ by missing Indonesia jet
AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes says he is “devastated” that a plane carrying 162 people from Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing.
AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, disappeared over the Java Sea an hour into its flight.
Bad weather was reported in the area but no distress call was made and no wreckage has been sighted.
The plane had left Surabaya in eastern Java and was due to arrive in Singapore.
Shocked relatives gathered at both airports, in Singapore and Surabaya, poring over the passenger manifests.
Fernandes, AirAsia’s chief executive, flew to Surabaya and later told a press briefing: “We are very devastated by what’s happened, it’s unbelievable.
“Our concern right now is for the relatives and for the next of kin – there is nothing more important to us, for our crew’s family, and for the passengers’ families.
“We hope that the aircraft is found quickly, and we can find out the cause of what has happened.”
An air and sea search was immediately launched, with vessels and aircraft from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia scouring an area near Belitung island, but nothing was found before nightfall. (BBC)