AirAsia Ceases Search For Flight QZ 8501

Words by: Freya Parr
Image credit: ibnlive

CEO of AirAsia Tony Fernandes has declared that the search for AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 will end in about “four or five” days.

The aircraft was lost on 28th December 2014 during a short flight from Surabaya in Indonesia and Singapore, a journey carried out by AirAsia on an extremely frequent basis.

162 people were on board, and during the extensive search, 106 have been found, mainly in the area around the wreckage in the Java Sea.

The search for the Airbus A320 has been undertaken for over nearly 3 months, and although not all the passengers have been found, Fernandes believes that getting “more than 50% is considered a huge success.”

Rough seas and poor visibility made searching difficult for the divers, and ultimately, as stated by Fernandes, the search “can’t go on indefinitely”.

Some relatives of the remaining lost victims are unhappy with the statements from Fernandes and the rescue team, and have decided to continue on with their own investigations.

Unlike the questions surrounding the other recent plane disasters, there is little doubt that the accident of the AirAsia flight was caused by poor weather conditions.

The two “black box” flight recorders have been found, and the radar data shows the plane was climbing at an abnormally high rate, which could have caused it to stall. It is thought to have been flying through a storm at the time of the crash, as the pilot’s last contact with air traffic control was a request to divert around the poor weather conditions.

However, Fernandes is still refusing to state why the preliminary official report into the crash was not made public, and insists on defending AirAsia’s safety record. He stated, “all I can say is that we’re regulated by lots and lots of authorities and no one has banned us from coming to their country.”

Fernandes continues to support the proposal to improve aircraft tracking technology after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, suggesting that “it’s ridiculous in this day and age that you can find your iPhone but we can’t find an aircraft.”