Juanda-Singapore Indonesia AirAsia passengers unfazed by tragedy

Indonesians hold up candles during a candle light vigil for the victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Surabaya.

SURABAYA: The tragedy of Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has not deterred passengers from flying to Singapore via the airline's early morning flight.

Some of the people interviewed at the Juanda International Airport here, from where the ill-fated plane took off on Sunday, were nonchalant when asked if the air disaster had caused them any jitters.

At 4am yesterday, the airport's departure hall was already bustling with people rushing to check in for the flight with the QZ8501 call number.

A family of four from here said though they were saddened to hear about the disaster, they were not jumpy over it.

"In fact, we look forward to flying with AirAsia. We are not particularly worried," Sommy Suryadi said.

The 35-year-old businessman, who was bound for the island republic to spend New Year with his wife and their two children, said the family had booked the flight two weeks ago.

"Despite the tragedy, it never crossed our minds to cancel our flights. Whatever happens, it's all God's will," said his wife Larsana Winda, 35.

A 24-year-old graduate Mejeko, who was also flying to Singapore for a holiday with her family, echoed Larsana's sentiments.

"We booked our tickets two weeks ago. The incident has not unnerved us at all. All I need to say is, bismillah (in the name of God)," she said.

A check showed that the flight from Juanda to Singapore Changi Airport was fully booked yesterday.

Indonesia AirAsia flies from Surabaya to Singapore four times a week - Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday - at 5.20am.

On Monday, Indonesia AirAsia said it had forwarded its suggestion to the headquarters to retire its flight code QZ8501 following the tragedy and was awaiting approval and coordination.