No knee-jerk reaction to QZ8501 in Indonesia

FLIGHTS in and out of Indonesia are proceeding as normal with little immediate reaction to the disappearance of Indonesia AirAsia’s flight QZ8501 yesterday.

In a press conference this morning, Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, stated that all AirAsia flights were operating regularly including flights from Surabaya.

The Indonesian outbound operators in Surabaya noticed no impact. Monas Tjahjono, managing director of Monas Tours and Travel in Surabaya, said: “Overall, outbound business this year-end dropped compared to last year, but it is more likely because of the depreciation of the rupiah against the US dollar.

“Travellers already holding tickets will continue with their plan, so activities at the Juanda International Airport are running normally. I have a group leaving tomorrow – not with AirAsia though – and none of them is showing concern.”

Likewise passenger confidence in travelling on AirAsia has not been shaken, according to Yongky Yanwintarko, chairman of The Association of Air Ticketing Companies in Indonesia (ASTINDO) East Java Chapter.

“The airline has a good track record in safety. This is the first time they’ve had an accident and, while we’re waiting for official results of the investigation, so far it looks like the incident had to do with the weather.”

A couple of ASTINDO East Java Chapter’s members, Universal Travel Surabaya, had a group of 24 guests and one tour leader on the missing plane, alongside other FIT travellers on board.

The second, TX Travel, had three travellers on the flight. Managing director Anton Thedy said “We are sad there were three of our guests on that flight, but 10 other guests (escaped) the incident.

“Our guests arrived at Surabaya airport late and missed the flight, as there had been a timetable change and we failed to inform our guests as we could not reach them when we received notification from AirAsia.”

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