Missing AirAsia flight: QZ8501 is an Indonesian aircraft

PETALING JAYA: Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is an Indonesian aircraft owned by Indonesia AirAsia and not a Malaysian flight as widely reported in social media.

Indonesia AirAsia is an affiliate airline of the larger Malaysian-based AirAsia group. According to its website, it was established on Dec 8, 2004, through a joint venture between AirAsia International Ltd. and PT Awair International.

AirAsia Berhad has a 49% share in the airline with parent company Fersindo Nusaperkasa owning a 51% share.

The low-cost airline has hubs in Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya and Medan.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has said that Indonesia will take control of the search-and-rescue operations and the Malaysian Government will assist them.

The search operations are being conducted under the guidance of Indonesia's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with the co-operation of Indonesia AirAsia.

The Airbus A320-200 aircraft lost communication with Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff at 5:35am local time (6.35am Malaysia) en route to Singapore.