LIVE UPDATES DAY 1: Air Asia flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore missing

DAY 3 LIVE BLOG: Search continues amid poor weather


That wraps up our coverage of the search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501. Check back in the morning for the updates on the search-and-rescue operation. 

UPDATE (1.20am):

What could have gone wrong with AirAsia flight QZ8501? 

Experts say the plane could have stalled, or it could have been affected by a lightning strike.

More details in The New Paper print edition on Dec 29. 

UPDATE (12.50am): Republic of Singapore Navy Ships sail for Indonesia

In addition to the two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 aircraft, one of which participated in the search and locate (SAL) operation earlier today, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) had also put a Formidable-class frigate, Landing ship tank, Missile corvette and Submarine support and rescue vessel on standby.

At 11.55pm Sunday evening, Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing sent off the Formidable-class frigate (RSS Supreme) and Missile corvette (RSS Valour), which were being deployed in support of the SAL operation in Indonesia.

Mr Chan commended the RSN servicemen for mobilising at short notice and wished them well for the operation. He added that it was not the first time Singapore and Indonesia were working together and the close relationship that both countries shared would facilitate the operation.

“I believe that with the strong relationship that Indonesia and Singapore has built up over many years, which transcends all levels from the highest political level to the military commanders, we will be able to work closely and execute the search and locate operation effectively.” he said.  



UPDATE (11.45pm):

AirAsia has posted an update on their Facebook page, saying AirAsia management and the governor of East Java and other Indonesian officials have met with families to provide updates:

UPDATE (10.44pm):

Tony Fernandes speaks at press conference in Surabaya

In a press conference in Surabaya this evening (Dec 28) about missing flight QZ8501, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes said: "We do not know what went wrong with the flight.

"This is the first time AirAsia has experienced such an incident."

Fernandes, sitting next to Indonesia AirAsia CEO Sunu Widyatmoko, was speaking at the crisis center set up at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya.

Read the full story here. 

PHOTO: Reuters

UPDATE (9.17PM):

Changi Airport Group said that 16 members of the next of kin will be leaving for Surabaya tonight.

The rest have retired for the night either at home or in a hotel.

UPDATE (8.25pm):

The New Paper understands all but two families have left the holding area at Changi Airport Terminal 2. The two families remaining are not related to Singaporeans.

It is unclear where the families have been taken. 

UPDATE (7.31pm):

Indonesia has confirmed that search and rescue operations will be put on hold as it's nightfall, and weather conditions are poor.

UPDATE (7.04pm):

According to Channel NewsAsia, the Singaporean on the missing Air Asia flight is a two-year-old girl, travelling with her British father. 

UPDATE (6.38pm):

Indonesian who flew in from Surabaya on later flight says her fiance and his family are on missing flight

An Indonesian woman, Louise Sidharta, 25, who just arrived at Changi Airport told media that her fiance, Alain, 28, an entrepreneur, and his three brothers are on the missing Air Asia flight. 

Ms Sidharta and some of her own relatives took the later flight and arrived at Changi Airport after 5pm.



They were travelling here for a holiday, before they marry in May next year.

She heard the news that the flight went missing at about 11am on the radio.

She told the media: "I just want to think positive, no negative thoughts."

UPDATE (6.30pm):

Changi Airport Group releases statement, says 47 relatives and friends have registered at T2 holding area, arrangements have been made for either local accommodation or travel to Indonesia

Statement from Changi Airport Group:

As of this update, 47 relatives and friends of 57 passengers on board Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 have registered at Singapore Changi Airport’s Relatives’ Holding Area (RHA) at Terminal 2.

Help and support are being provided to them at the RHA by 36 Changi Airport Group (CAG) care officers and four counsellors from the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Other staff from CAG, AirAsia and airport partners, as well as officials from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, have also been present to assist.

Arrangements for local accommodation or for travel to Indonesia have been made for the next-of-kin.

The thoughts and concerns of CAG and the Changi Airport community are with the passengers of QZ8501, their families and friends. *In response to media queries, three Indonesia Air Asia flights were retimed today.

UPDATE (6.00pm):

BBC is reporting that no wreckage has been found, according to an Indonesian navy official. 

The update also adds that weather conditions in the search area is poor, with visibility estimated at 5-10km. 

UPDATE (5.38pm):

Family of Singaporean on board QZ8501 arrives at Changi Airport

Family members of the Singaporean on board QZ8501 has arrived at Changi Airport. One of the family members told The New Paper that the passenger is his cousin. 

A statement released by CAAS said the next-of-kin of the Singaporean on board the missing flight are being provided with all necessary assistance and support. 

TNP PHOTO: Phyllicia Wang

UPDATE (4.41pm): Indonesia has accepted Singapore’s offer to assist in search and rescue efforts, according to a statement released by CAAS.

A C130 aircraft has been launched to assist with search and rescue efforts.

File photo of C130 aircraft. PHOTO: ST File

UPDATE (4.36pm): RazorTV has a video of the flight path of QZ8501:



FlightRadar24, which tracks the flight routes of planes all over the world, has also tweeted a picture of other planes in the area:




UPDATE (4.24pm)

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has just visited with the families in the holding room at Terminal 2. 

He posted the following update on Facebook:






Changi Airport Group: No press conference to be held at Changi Airport.




One woman who came out of the holding room for next of kin said she's an Indonesian living in Singapore, with four family members on board missing Air Asia flight QZ8501. 

She said two of the family members are aged 12 and 17. 



UPDATE (2.39pm):

CAAS announces press conference may be held soon at Changi Airport - details to be confirmed. 

UPDATE (2.32pm):

At a press conference held earlier today, Indonesian transport minister Ignasius Jonan said search and rescue operations for missing Air Asia flight QZ 8501 will be focused on an area off East Java.

"The flight lost contact somewhere between the waters off Kalimantan and Tanjung Pandan (Belitung)," he said.

He added that ships are already headed in that direction to search for the missing plane. 


Another woman enters the holding room, holding a pack of tissues. Next of kin are in a holding room at Terminal 2, waiting for news on family members on board Air Asia QZ8501.




VIDEO - Next of kin seen entering holding room. At least 13 more have arrived in the last hour. At least two dozen next of kin are in the holding room now. 

One woman, accompanied by an older woman and child, said she's from Indonesia. The older woman said she is a family member of a passenger onboard Air Asia QZ8501.



TNP PHOTO: Elizabeth Law

Another family of four has gone into the holding area, where next of kin of passengers have been waiting since 9.30am this morning. 

Workers seen bringing in boxes of water.

UPDATE (1.02pm): has released pictures of the passenger manifest:

UPDATE (12.55pm):

At Changi Airport: 

TNP PHOTO: Phyllicia Wang

UPDATE (12.47pm):

From our reporter at Changi Airport: At about 9.30am, next of kin were ushered from Terminal 1 to a holding area in Terminal 2. 

About a dozen family members are believed to be inside the room. 

UPDATE (12.45pm):

Press conference to be held soon at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). 

UPDATE (12.35pm): is reporting that the make-up of the 155 passengers on baord QZ8501 is as follows: 1 Singaporean, 149 Indonesians, 3 South Koreans, 1 UK citizen and 1 Malaysian. 

UPDATE (12.02pm):

Air Asia has posted the following note on Facebook, with a number for friends and family of passengers on QZ8501 to call. 

UPDATE (11.55am):

CAAS has released a statement: 

An Indonesia AirAsia aircraft, QZ8501, scheduled to arrive at 0830 hours local time from Surabaya, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 0724 hours local time today. Singapore air traffic control was informed of this loss of contact at 0754 hours by Jakarta air traffic control. The aircraft was in the Indonesian Flight Information Region (FIR) when contact was lost, more than 200 nm southeast of the Singapore-Jakarta FIR boundary.

Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office. The Singapore Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and supported by various agencies, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), has also been activated and has offered help to the Indonesian authorities. Two C130s are already on stand-by for this purpose.

We remain ready to provide any assistance to support the search and rescue effort. The CAAS and Changi Airport Group (CAG) Crisis Management Centres have already been activated. We are working with the airline’s crisis management team.

A waiting area, and all necessary facilities and support have been set up for relatives and friends of the affected passengers at Changi Airport Terminal 2 (Level 3). Further updates will be provided once more information is available.

UPDATE (11.51 am): 

A partial passenger and crew manifest has been released. 

According to the list, there are 138 adults, 16 children and 1 baby on board.

Air Asia flight QZ8501 is missing en route from Surabaya to Singapore.

It was supposed to land at Changi Airport at 8am.

Singaporeans are believed to be on board.

The flight lost contact with air traffic control eight minutes after take-off, according to an official from Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation speaking to