Don’t Speculate, AirAsia Boss Says

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 – “We will cooperate with the investigations on missing QZ8501,” Air Asia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was reported as saying in Surabaya tonight. Fernandes, who had earlier informed via Twitter that he was leaving for the Indonesian city following the disappearance of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, attended a press conference at the Juanda International Airport tonight.

As reported by the country’s Detik News, he said to let the search and rescue (SAR) team carry out its operations, the company would cooperate fully in the SAR mission as well as the investigations. Bernama reported Fernandes as describing the events surrounding the missing aircraft as “a massive shock to us”.

He then reiterated what the company had earlier said in a statement that the aircraft had undergone scheduled maintenance in November, adding that it was in good condition. Meanwhile, he advised people not to speculate on the missing aircraft. “We still don’t know what happened,” Fernandes was quoted as saying by Bernama. “Prime concern is looking after family members of those on board.”

AirAsia flight QZ8501 en route to Singapore lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control (ATC) tower after taking off from Surabaya earlier this morning. The aircraft is an Airbus A320-200 bearing the registration number PK-AXC. Search and rescue operations for QZ8501 have been suspended for the day and will continue in the morning. Malaysia and Singapore are also helping in the search.

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