Air Asia flight QZ8501

Introduction to the Airline

Since the beginning of the 21st century the Indonesian aviation is growing and being recognized internationally. Indonesia Air Asia is one of the leading aviation companies of Indonesia and holds a large percentage of the market in Indonesia. It only deals in airbus type planes and is a low-fare airline. The company's slogan is “Now everyone can fly” thus being a dominant airline in Indonesia for the middle class. The airline was founded in the year 1999 as Awair and started its association with Air Asia in 2004 and subsequently changed its name to Indonesia Air Asia. It was briefly banned by the European Union due to safety concerns but the ban was lifted in July, 2010.


On Sunday 28, Dec, 2014 at 5: 30 am (Indonesian Time) the jetliner took off from Surabaya's Juanda International airport and was due to land at Singapore's Changi international airport at 8: 30 am (Singapore Time), but Indonesia's air traffic control lost contact with the plane about an hour after it took off:

Final moments

  • Gathering from many source these are the details of the final moments of flight-QZ8501:
  • Due to bad weather over Java sea, the pilot had asked for permission to divert from course.
  • Immediately afterwards the pilot asked for the permission to climb from their current altitude at 32000ft to 38000 ft which was denied by the Jakarta Air Traffic Control (ATC) due to traffic.
  • New reports show that the pilot was out of his seat solving an unknown computer problem at the time when his co-pilot lost control of the plan.
  • At 6: 24 AirNav Indonesia lost contact with the airplane and it was declared missing and immediately search and rescue operations were ordered.

Search operation

One day after the disappearance of the flight unconfirmed fishermen reports stated that wreckage had been found off shore of Belitung island, Indonesia. Indonesian Navy immediately sent out search teams and the local fishermen too helped in this process. This soon became an international incident and other countries quickly poured in help. On 30th Dec plane wreckage and bodies of the passengers were found and about 40 bodies were recovered. It was officially confirmed that Airbus QZ8501 had crashed and there had been no survivors. This incident was first thought to be a terrorist attack but later evidence pointed out that there had either been a manual error or a technical problem. Till date the exact story of what happened on the flight is not fully known and recovery operations are ongoing. More bodies have been found over the days but not all. Also more wreckage is being searched for in order to know the whole story. The latest news is that through one electronic black box it was found that the pilot had left his seat in order to solve some problem and the plane lost control under the first officer and till the time the pilot returned it was not recoverable.

Air Asia Scrutinized

Various evidences pointed out that Air Asia was not following the set rules and regulations

Later, reports stated that Air Asia was not permitted to travel through that route on Sundays and was supposed to only use that air route 4 days a week but not on Sundays. They did not have the Ministry of Transportation's permission.

The Airline industry in Indonesia is growing but the safety standards are not being followed leading to accidents. The European Union had once banned Indonesia because their airlines were not able to meet the necessary safety standards.

The government of France has taken a step further to open a criminal investigation against Air Asia for possible charges of manslaughter as they believe that the airline knowingly endangered the lives of its passengers, because it did not have permission to fly on that day.

Author's Insight

The Author strongly feels that the officials should take a much closer look to this matter and punish the airline severely if they are found to be at fault. Also Airlines across the world should be strictly made to follow the regulations laid down so that accidents like these do not repeat itself.

Each human life is priceless.

Author: Satyajay Jethwa