This morning, it was reported that an AirAsia Flight QZ8501 en route from Surabaya to Singapore went missing after losing contact with air traffic control. The aircraft had 155 passengers and 7 AirAsia crew on board. According to Al Arabiya News, Indonesian media cited a Transport Ministry official who said that the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact.

Since then, it has been a mad scramble for both the Indonesian and Singaporean authorities, as well as AirAsia Bhd group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

Source: Sutton Images
Source: Sutton Images

At 4pm today (28th Dec), The Star reported that Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was headed to Surabaya to lend support for the search and rescue operations for missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501. He also confirmed it via his Twitter account.

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On top of that, he also described the disappearance of Flight QZ8501 as his “worst nightmare”.

 

National carrier Malaysia Airlines have also started rallying support via a post on their Facebook page, urging AirAsia to #StayStrong. This is, of course, coming from an airlines company that recently saw the tragic loss of 2 of its planes, Flight MH370 and Flight MH17 in the span of only 6 months.

Netizens were deeply moved, some completely floored by the gesture:

 

Flight QZ8501 lost communication with Indonesia’s Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff at 5:35am local time (6:35am Malaysian time). It was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Belitung Island.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore confirmed that they’ve activated their air force and navy to help in the search and rescue operation, with 2 C130s already on stand-by. A waiting area, facilities, and support have also been set up for relatives at Changi Airport Terminal 2.

File photo, not actual Flight QZ8501 plane
File photo, not actual Flight QZ8501 plane

AirAsia’s statement confirmed that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress. However, the search and rescue has since been called off until first light.

Sources: The Star (1), TIME, The Star (2)Al Arabiya News.

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Lainey
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