Indonesia’s search for AirAsia crash victims could end in days

admin   •   January 28, 2015   •   2151

A police officer stands near part of the fuselage of crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501 inside a storage facility at Kumai port in Pangkalan Bun, January 19, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/BEAWIHARTA

(Reuters) – Indonesia’s search for dozens of victims still unaccounted for from last month’s crash of an AirAsia (AIRA.KL) passenger jet could end within days if no more bodies are found, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

The Airbus (AIR.PA) A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather over the Java Sea on Dec. 28, less than half-way into a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city, to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

Indonesia’s civilian National Search and Rescue Agency said it would scour the sea for bodies for at least another week.

“Within one week we will evaluate (our search) depending on the result,” agency chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo told reporters. “If we can find one or two more bodies, that means we have the opportunity to prolong the operation.”

The military withdrew from the search on Tuesday, apologising to the victims’ families for not being able to do more after a month of work.

A multinational search and recovery operation has found 70 bodies in the Java Sea and had hoped to find more after finding the fuselage of the plane. But days of rough weather and poor underwater visibility hampered navy divers’ efforts.

Divers have recovered both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the sea floor.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee will submit its initial findings on the crash this week to the International Civil Aviation Organization, though only the final report will be made public.

Investigators say they have yet to start their analysis of the aircraft’s two “black box” flight recorders and have been compiling other data for the inquiry.

Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan has said that, based on radar data, the plane had climbed faster than normal in its final minutes, and then stalled.

Investigators have found no evidence of foul play.

(Additional reporting by Fergus Jensen and Nilufar Rizki; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Kim Coghill and Mark Bendeich)

AirAsia cancels selected flights to South Korea

Marje Pelayo   •   March 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malaysian low-cost airline, AirAsia, announced on Tuesday (March 3) the cancellation of several flights to South Korea in compliance with the Philippine government’s directive imposing travel restrictions due to public health risks associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Due to the current public health situation, AirAsia is cancelling some of its flights between the Philippines and South Korea until further notice from the government.

Flights affected include the airline’s Manila and Seoul-Incheon; Cebu and Seoul-Incheon; Kalibo and Seoul-Incheon as well as Kalibo and Busan.

FLIGHT NO. DEPARTURE ARRIVAL CANCELLED DATES
Z2 38 Kalibo Seoul-Incheon March 4 – March 28 Cancelled on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays  
Z2 39 Seoul-Incheon Kalibo March 4 – March 28 Cancelled on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays  
Z2 58 Kalibo Busan March 7 – March 28 Cancelled on Saturdays  
Z2 59 Busan Kalibo March 7 – March 28 Cancelled on Saturdays  
Z2 7046 Cebu Seoul-Incheon March 3 – March 28 Cancelled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays  
Z2 7047 Seoul-Incheon Cebu March 3 – March 28 Cancelled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays  
Z2 888 Manila Seoul-Incheon March 4 – March 28 Cancelled Daily  
Z2 889 Seoul-Incheon Manila March 4 – March 28 Cancelled Daily

Meanwhile, flights to South Korea coming from Clark International Airport will continue as it is, as well as selected flights from Manila, Cebu, and Kalibo.

Passengers are advised to check on their flights via the “Flight Status” function on the airasia.com website and mobile app.

AirAsia assured that all affected guests will receive a prompt notification via email or SMS.

The airline added that it is complying with advice and regulations from the local government, civil aviation authorities, global and local health agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO).

For additional information on flight cancellations, AirAsia advises clients to refer to the company’s official website.

AirAsia cancels PH flights to Taiwan amid novel coronavirus travel ban

Robie de Guzman   •   February 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – AirAsia on Tuesday, February 11, announced the cancellation of its flights between the Philippines and Taiwan in compliance with the Philippine government’s expanded travel restrictions to China and its regions that were affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

In an advisory, the AirAsia said that flights going Taiwan (Taipei and Kaohsiung) are now cancelled until further notice.

The airliner previously cancelled flights from the Philippines to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao until March 2020.

AirAsia guests affected by the flight cancellations and travel restrictions may choose from the following options:

  • Move flight: One-time flight change to a new travel date on the same route within 30 calendar days beginning 29 March 2020 from original flight time without additional cost, subject to seat availability. Applicable for guests affected by cancelled flights and travel restrictions imposed.
  • Credit account: Retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is to be redeemed for booking within 90 calendar days from the issuance date for your travel with us. The actual travel dates can be after the expiry date as long as our flight schedule is out. This is applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.
  • Full refund: Obtain a full refund to your original payment method for the amount equivalent to your booking. Applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.

AirAsia said guests whose flights fall into the above date range can obtain a full refund in the amount equivalent to that booking in the form of original payment. Refund requests can be made with AVA at support.airasia.com. 

For bookings made through travel agents including online travel agents, refund requests are to be made via the respective travel agents.

AirAsia also strongly encourages its guests to update their contact details to ensure that they receive timely notifications.

The airline company’s action follows the Department of Health’s announcement Monday that Taiwan is covered in the expanded travel ban in an effort to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Air passengers now allowed to bring folded umbrellas in carry-on luggage

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Airline passengers will now be allowed to bring folded umbrellas in their carry-on baggage in flights, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) announced on Sunday.

In a statement, the OTS said the move is in response to public clamor to allow carriage of folded umbrellas in both cabins and checked baggage.

The agency said it decided to ease the policy on bringing umbrellas in airport baggage after a series of consultations with stakeholders.

“The OTS follows the international standard set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in identifying items to be prohibited onboard which may aid in committing any acts of unlawful interference against civil aviation,” it said.

However, cane umbrellas will remain prohibited in the cabin.

The bringing of umbrellas, especially those with sharp and pointed components, was previously prohibited at Philippine airports as these may be used to cause harm to others.

“Apart from explosives and deadly weapons, some seemingly innocent everyday items are also banned in airplanes as they pose danger to the security of passengers and the aircraft. This includes all types of umbrellas, which were recently included in the revised prohibited items list,” it said.

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