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SURABAYA - Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has refused to speculate what caused Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 to plunge into the water, saying that a proper investigation would reveal its true fate.
"Let the black box tell everything. Further investigation will be done the moment we manage to retrieve the black box. It is very improper and inappropriate for me to speculate on anything", said the AirAsia Group CEO.
Fernandes also said that they would wait for the investigation to be concluded, when asked if the airline company would now compensate the affected families.
"Yes, but let's wait for the investigation to be completed. We will, however, be providing financial assistance as soon as possible," he told a packed press conference at Juanda International Airport here, Tuesday night.
Describing the tragedy was his "worst nightmare" throughout his 13-year career as the AirAsia CEO, he vowed that he would not run away from obligations.
"Operations will run as normal. There has been an amazing support from Indonesia.
"I am a leader of this company and I am not running away from responsibility. I will be as open and honest as I can," he assured.
He added that he would personally visit the crash site in Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan on Wednesday to get a closer look.
However, he was advised not to bring victims' next-of-kin to the site as this would interfere with the evacuation process after earlier reports of Indonesia AirAsia's proposal to fly them to the search area.
Fernandes also said although this was his "worst nightmare" since the establishment of the budget airline 13 years ago, he said people remained confident with AirAsia.
"I am a leader of this company, I will be as honest and open as I can. I will not run away from obligations," he said.
Expressing his condolences to the affected family members, Fernandes also promised to remain in touch with them even after the investigation concluded.
"Obviously, this is a terrible moment for me and AirAsia and I can't put in words how I feel right now.
"Now I am staying strong for the family and crew members and we want to be with them in this painful experience so it will be less painful.
"We will stay strong and we will keep in contact with them even after this," he said.