|AirAsia Airbus A320-200 aircraft|
[Avionics Today 12-30-2014] AirAsia and the National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) have confirmed reports that the debris found in the Java Sea early Tuesday is from flight QZ8501. The AirAsia flight lost contact with Jakarta Air Traffic Control (ATC) on the morning of Dec. 28 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, prompting an extensive search and rescue mission along its flight path.
The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles southwest from Pangkalan Bun, the airline reported. There were 168 people aboard the Airbus A320-200 aircraft. There were 155 passengers on board, including 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant as well as two pilots, four cabin crewmembers and one engineer.
Currently, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. The Indonesian Navy has also reported that several bodies have been located along with the debris off the coast of Borneo, officials have not yet confirmed these are related to the downed aircraft.
“I am absolutely devastated,” said Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Tony Fernandes, who has been highly vocal and notably emotional on social media throughout the search and rescue. “This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”