QZ8501: AirAsia denies route violations

Flight QZ8501 crashed on a Sunday
Flight QZ8501 crashed on a Sunday

AirAsia has denied allegations that it was not permitted to operate the SurabayaSingapore route on the day flight QZ8501 crashed.

The airline’s group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said this week that AirAsia Indonesia did in fact have clearance from both Indonesian and Singaporean aviation authorities to fly the route on Sundays.

“We have the right to operate on the Surabaya-Singapore route seven times a week. What happened is an administrative problem. We appreciate the Indonesian Transportation Ministry’s step of evaluating the coordination between the airport authority and flight slot authority to avoid misunderstandings in the future,” Fernandes was quoted saying by Indonesia’s Antara news agency.

Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry previously said that AirAsia “did not fly in accordance with the schedule agreed with the government”. It argues that the airline was only permitted to operate the route on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Flight QZ8501 was carrying 162 passengers and crew from Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday 28 December when it crashed into the sea between the Bangka Betilung Islands and the southwest coast of Borneo. Bad weather has been cited as the most likely cause of the incident.

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