AirAsia QZ8501: Tony Fernandes hopes for major breakthrough

AirAsia QZ8501: Tony Fernandes hopes for major breakthrough
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes talks to the media at Juanda Airport, in Surabaya, Indonesia.

PETALING JAYA - AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes hopes that there will be a major breakthrough in the search for Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

He tweeted on Sunday: Let's hope today is a major breakthrough day and we can find main fuselage. It's important to us to find all our guests. Thanks to Basarnas and all navies."

Fernandes also tweeted that the plane's flight recorder may have been found. "We are led to believe Blackbox may have been found. Still not confirmed. But strong info coming. But my main thoughts is fuselage," he wrote.

Indonesian search teams believe a sonar scan has detected the fuselage of Flight QZ8501 that crashed two weeks ago with the loss of all 162 people on board.

Divers were deployed to investigate, a senior official said.

Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control during thundery weather on Dec 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors.

Searchers have also been hearing pings, believed to be from the aircraft's black box flight recorders, near where the tail of the Airbus A320-200 aircraft tail was raised on Saturday.

Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said a sonar scan had revealed an object measuring 10 metres by four metres by 2.5 metres on the sea floor.

"They suspect it is the body of the plane.

"There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane," Supriyadi told Reuters in the town of Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort on Borneo.

"A team of divers has already been sent to prove this data. The diving operation has started," he said.

Forty-eight bodies have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo and searchers are still hunting for the plane's fuselage, which could contain more bodies.

 

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