So it looks like we’re not the only ones who are quite done with the Malaysia Airlines MH370 and Malaysia Airlines MH17 references when it comes to reports of AirAsia’s missing Flight QZ8510! According to The Star, Australian Prime Minister Toby Abbott said that the plight of Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that went missing over the Java Sea cannot be equated with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which vanished without a trace in March.
Note: Australia is leading the search for MH370 which was on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared off radars on 8th March with 239 people on board.
Tony Abbot told Sydney radio station 2GB:
I think it would be a big mistake to equate what has happened here with MH370.
MH370, as things stand, is one of the great mysteries of our time. It doesn’t appear that there’s any particular mystery here. It’s an aircraft that was flying a regular route on a regular schedule, it struck what appears to have been horrific weather, and it’s down.
But this is not a mystery like the MH370 disappearance and it’s not an atrocity like the MH17 shooting down.
MH17 was believed to have been shot down on 17th July over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board – among them 38 Australian residents.
MH370, on the other hand, is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean far off Australia’s west coast after diverting off course for an unknown reason and flying for several more hours over the remote waters. An intense air and sea search failed to find any wreckage from the aircraft, while an underwater search has been underway for weeks in the area considered the plane’s most likely resting place with no result.
The disappearance of MH370 provoked a string of theories, including that it had been hijacked. But aviation expert Neil Hansford said that such a scenario was unlikely for Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200.
Neil Hansford told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, “These are very different circumstances to MH370. This plane does not have the range to go very far for a major detour.”
Tony Abbott also said that Australia would make itself “as available as we can be” to assist Indonesian authorities in the search for the Indonesia AirAsia plane which was heading to Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia’s east Java when it disappeared in bad weather on Sunday (28th Dec).
An Australian air force AP-3C Orion joined the search early Monday (29th Dec).
Meanwhile, The Star also reported that Indonesia AirAsia is planning to retire flight code QZ8501 following the disappearance of its aircraft en route to Surabaya to Singapore. Its chief executive officer, Sunu Widyatmoko said however the process may take time before it could take effect.
“We have forwarded our suggestion to the headquarters, but we are still waiting for the approval and coordination from the headquarters,” he said.