More than 160 people are missing after the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501.
As the search for the missing flight was suspended Sunday, relatives of passengers worldwide expressed apprehensive grief.
A relative of the passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 weeps as she waits for the latest news on the missing jetliner at a crisis center set up by local authority at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. A massive sea search was underway for an AirAsia plane that disappeared Sunday while flying from Indonesia to Singapore through airspace possibly thick with dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning, officials said. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)
A relative of AirAsia flight QZ8501 passengers weeps as she waits for the latest news on the missing jetliner at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)
Jiang Hui, a relative of passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing on March 8, 2014, watches a TV news about a missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, during their year-end gathering, at his house in Beijing, China Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a relative of a passenger on board missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 leaves the holding area at Changi Airport in Singapore, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. A massive sea search was underway for an AirAsia plane that disappeared Sunday while flying from Indonesia to Singapore through airspace possibly thick with dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning, officials said. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Then Chih Wey)
Relatives of the passengers onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 check the plane's manifest at a crisis center set up by local authority at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)
An electronic kiosk providing flight information shows the status for AirAsia flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore as "Ask Airline," Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014 at the Changi International Airport in Singapore. An AirAsia plane with more than 160 people on board lost contact with ground control on Sunday while flying over the Java Sea after taking off from a provincial city in Indonesia for Singapore. The two countries immediately launched a search and rescue operation but there was no word on the plane's whereabouts more than six hours after it went missing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
AirAsia was displaying a grayed out version of its normally red logo on Sunday.
The airline also posted regular updates on its Facebook page, expressing sorrow and telling families where to go for information and support.
Below is the latest message from the airline:
Earlier in Surabaya, the management of AirAsia along with the Governor of East Java, National Search and Rescue Agency of Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS), Airport Authority of Indonesia, Airport Operator (Angkasa Pura I) met with the members of the families to update them on the latest developments and reconfirmed their commitment to providing assistance in every possible way.
Sunu Widyatmoko, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia said, “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. We are cooperating with the relevant authorities to the fullest extent to determine the cause of this incident. In the meantime, our main priority is keeping the families of our passengers and colleagues informed on the latest developments.”
“We will do everything possible to support them as the investigation continues and have already mobilized a support team to help take care of their immediate needs, including accommodation and travel arrangements. A briefing center has also been set up in Surabaya for the families.”
For the families in Singapore, there is also an emergency briefing room at Changi International Airport Terminal Two, where AirAsia Indonesia will be providing regular updates.
We have also established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for those seeking information about relatives or friends who may have been on board the flight. The number is +622129270811.
At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted, under the guidance of National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew and one engineer on board.
The captain in command had a total of 20,537 flying hours of which, 6,100 flying hours were with AirAsia Indonesia on the Airbus A320. The first office officer had a total of 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia.
We will release further information as soon as it becomes available and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board QZ8501.
Facebook users worldwide poured out their sympathies...
...prompting Tony Fernandes, founder of AirAsia, to tweet his gratitude for the support.
I am touched by the massive show of support especially from my fellow airlines. This is my worse nightmare. But there is no stopping.— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) December 28, 2014
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