PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Tony Fernandes described the disappearance of Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, which was en route from Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday, as his "worst nightmare."
"I am touched by the massive show of support especially from my fellow airlines. This is my worst nightmare. But there is no stopping," the AirAsia Group CEO said on Twitter via his handle @tonyfernandes.
"To all my staff AirAsia all stars be strong, continue to be the best. Pray hard. Continue to do your best for all our guests. See u all soon.
"I, as your group CEO, will be there through these hard times. We will go through this terrible ordeal together.
"Our priority is looking after all the next-of-kin for my staff and passengers. We will do whatever we can," he added.
Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, with 162 people aboard, lost contact with ground control after taking off from Indonesia on the way to Singapore.
The plane lost communication with Indonesia's Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff at 5:35am local time (6.35am Malaysian time), Hadi Mustofa, an official of the Transportation ministry told Indonesia's MetroTV.
In a statement, AirAsia said that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress.
Mustofa said the plane had seven crew and 155 passengers.
He said the plane lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Belitung Island.
AirAsia Emergency Call Centre: +622129850801