Jakarta, Dec 28: AirAsia on Sunday changed the colour of its logo on social media pages, including Twitter and Facebook into grey after one of its flights between Indonesia and Singapore disappeared early in the morning. [QZ8501 crashed into sea, suspect rescue officials]
A search operation was underway to trace the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 flying from Surabaya in East Java to Singapore with 162 people including 149 Indonesians on board. The plane lost control with the air traffic control at 7.24 am Indonesian time. It sought permission from the Jakarta air traffic control to deviate from its flight plan to avoid adverse weather. [Did QZ8501 fly into dead zone?]
The pilots sought permission for "deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC)," AirAsia said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The Indonesian air force later sent two of its planes to search an area of the Java Sea, southwest of Pangkalan Bun in Kalimantan province. [Singapore readies air force, navy for search operation]
In March this year, a Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board. It was never found again. Another disaster struck Malaysian aviation when a plane with 298 people was shot down in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, resulting in the death of all on board. [New seafloor map to help spot missing Malaysian airplane?]