AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes has told the Indonesian President Joko Widodo that bad weather is to blame for the loss of flight QZ8501 and its 155 passengers and seven crew.
Wreckage from the plane was discovered yesterday afternoon in the waters of Karimata Strait, in Indonesia, and by early evening, the Indonesian Navy confirmed it had recovered several bodies. The low-cost carrier issued a statement confirming it was their plane and expressing regret and sadness for the loss.
Fairfax Media reports Fernandes saying the company will pay an immediate money advance of money to families who’ve lost loved one.
Fernandes said the black box flight recorder had not yet been found and it would be “improper” to speculate on a cause of the crash, but the AirAsia CEO told the Indonesian President “about some of the information that we [AirAsia] have about what could have gone wrong” and “some very unique weather conditions” around the flight path.
There were severe thunderstorms in the area and the pilot had requested a change of altitude, which was denied by air traffic control.
President Joko said his priority was the recovery of bodies and wreckage so victims can be identified and returned to their families.
The 155 passengers included 137 adults, 17 children and one infant, along with 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.
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