AirAsia QZ8501 flight schedule wasn't approved, says Indonesia
The AirAsia plane that crashed last weekend was flying on an unauthorised schedule, Indonesia’s transport ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry has since frozen the airline’s permission to fly the route.
Flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board en route from Surabaya to Singapore early on Sunday.
The plane's flight time had not been cleared by officials, said director general of air transport Djoko Murjatmodjo.
He told AFP:
"It violated the route permit given, the schedule given, that’s the problem.
"AirAsia’s permit for the route has been frozen because it violated the route permit given."
He said the permit would be frozen until investigations were completed.
A statement from transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata said AirAsia was not permitted to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays and had not asked to change its schedule.
The airline was reportedly allowed to ply the route only on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Search teams have narrowed their hunt for the plane’s fuselage and remaining bodies from the crash.
Rough weather has in recent days hampered the search for the plane, which is believed to be in relatively shallow water of around 25 to 32m.
So far, 30 bodies and various items of debris have been recovered.