SURABAYA: Khairunnisa Haidar, 22, had always dreamed of becoming a flight attendant.
"We couldn't have stopped her," said her 60-year-old father, Haidar Fauzie. "From the start, we already know the risks associated with flying."
His wife cried hysterically when they heard the flight had gone missing and Haidar struggled to console his grieving wife.
They had last seen their child six weeks ago when she came home for a holiday.
Haidar's only wish now is that the body found in flight attendant's uniform was that of his daughter and that he could lay her to rest.
His youngest child and only daughter, Khairunnisa, and senior flight attendant Wanti Setiawati were the only female crew members on board.
Khairunnisa had been with Indonesia AirAsia for two years.
Haidar said they had visited her apartment in Surabaya and found that she had packed in anticipation of her holiday back in Palembang, and also had booked her ticket home.
He showed a photo of his daughter on his mobile phone, posing in her red AirAsia uniform in an aircraft.
Weeks ago, she had also posted pictures of herself on Instagram with a message that read: "I love you from 38,000 feet."
"It is a painful loss," said Haidar, with a sad smile. "We accept God's will. She belongs to the Almighty. We will see her again one day."
The captain of the ill-fated flight, Capt Iriyanto, had flown F-16 fighter jets in the Indonesian air force before becoming a commercial airline pilot.
Iriyanto's less experienced co-pilot was Frenchman Remi Plesel, originally from the island of Martinique in the Antilles.
"Since he was very young, it was his dream to be a pilot and the dream came true. He had been in Indonesia for three years ... He was a very good pilot, an excellent one," his sister Renee told French radio station RTL.