AirAsia (Indonesia) Flight QZ8501 Incident

Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-216; PK-AXC at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), 2011 By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320-216; PK-AXC at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), 2011 By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

DEVELOPING STORY

KUALA LUMPUR, December 28th 2014 (Sunday): An Indonesia AirAsia flight (QZ 8501) from Surabaya, Indonesia has lost contact with air traffic control on  at 6:17 AM (local time, Indonesia) – 2317 hrs GMT.

All times are stated in Malaysian Standard Time (MST, GMT +8:00) unless specified otherwise.

An official from Indonesian Transport Ministry, Hadi Mustofa said the plane asked for unusual route before losing contact with air traffic controller.

The flight is scheduled to arrive Singapore at 8:30 AM but it has yet to arrive.

It is currently unknown whether Flight QZ 8501 has anything to do with the weather or not.

 

Flight Path

AirAsia QZ 8501 Flight Path - Picture from flightradar24.com
AirAsia QZ 8501 Flight Path – Picture from flightradar24.com

Shortly after departure, the aircraft disappeared at cruising altitude and speed. Main article: AirAsia QZ 8501 flight path

It deviated few degrees by heading from it original route shortly before it disappeared. From weather data near to the point of lost contact, the aircraft is seen traversing through bad weather area.

 

Passengers and Crew

The Airbus A320-200 had 155 passengers for QZ 8501. The total figure given by TIME is 162.

The flight comprise of 149 Indonesians, 2 Koreans, 1 Singaporean, 1 Briton and 1 Malaysian (source).

The pilot is identified as Iriyanto.

 

The Aircraft

The aircraft in flight QZ 8501, Airbus A320-200 is registered as PK-AXC. The ICAO-designated PK-prefix means it is registered in Indonesia.

The aircraft has just 4.5 hours of fuel left at the time of disappearance.

 

Search and Rescue Process

Click here for search and rescue effort by country

The aircraft is confirmed missing as of 7:55 AM while the last contact occured at 7:24 AM (6:24 AM Western Indonesia Time).

Day 1: Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia worked together to search for the missing plane. Australia has also offered assistance of deemed necessary. No positive results have been found.

Day 2: Royal Australian Air Force and Navy has joined the search. As of 11:21 AM, no positive results have been found.

 

Jurisdiction

The aircraft is registered in Indonesia and owned by an Indonesian company, AirAsia Indonesia. Besides, the incident does not occur in Malaysia. Therefore, Malaysian government is not involved with this incident. Read more here.

 

Contact Information

AirAsia has established an emergency call centre for family and friends of those who are affected. The phone number is +622129850801.

Please check back this page for updates.

Source: CNBC

Thai AirAsia’s Worst Profit Decline in 10 Years

AirAsia Airbus A320 9M-AFN Side view
AirAsia Airbus A320 9M-AFN Side view

Thai AirAsia will see 2014 as one of its most dreadful years as it will record the biggest slump in profits in 10 years of history.

The ongoing political crises in Thailand were said to be the major contributing factor of the decline. The company said it will focus more on domestic markets rather than international ones because international market recorded huge drop in profit compared to domestic market.

It does not seem to affect much of AirAsia’s operation in other region though, as indicated y AirAsia’s desire to launch AirAsia Asean Pass, which allows users to pick flights throughout Asean (Southeast Asian) countries using pre-purchased credits. With 137 routes within AirAsia network for Asean alone, users will be spoilt for choice, according to a news report from 3sixty, AirAsia’s travel magazine.

The announcement came in shortly after previous news article by The Star Malaysia highlighting its scucess as Asia’s Best and World’s Best Low Cost Airline by Skytrax for six consecutive years (2009 to 2014).

Malaysia Airlines Welcomes 100th Boeing 737 Aircraft

Boeing 737-800 Malaysia Airlines Delivery Ceremony (Picture Credit: thestar.com.my)
Boeing 737-800 Malaysia Airlines Delivery Ceremony (Picture Credit: thestar.com.my)

KUALA LUMPUR, December 22nd 2014 – Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its 100th Boeing 737 aircraft. Bearing the registration number 9M-MXY, the aircraft is painted with Malaysia Airlines’ new livery, consistent with other fleet of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800s.

The aircraft was piloted by Capt Kamarozaman Ahmad arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) at 2 PM on Monday and taxied towards Hangar 5 in the airport. A traditional water cannon salute is given to celebrate the arrival of the aircraft.

It first took delivery of a 737-200 in 1972 and has operated the -200, -300, -400, -500 variants of the Boeing 737. Currently, Malaysia Airlines focuses on taking delivery of Boeing 737-800, replacing all aging older-generation Boeing 737 in its fleet.

The aircraft uses Boeing Sky Interior. Malaysia Airlines is also Asia launch customer for the newly-designed interior, which features larger pivoting overhead stowage bins, LED lighting and larger window. Besides, it also has 15% better fuel efficiency compared to previous generation Boeing 737.

According to Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive officer (CEO), Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the 160-seater aircraft includes better in-flight entertainment and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.

Boeing 737-800 Malaysia Airlines Delivery Ceremony - (Picture credit: superadrianme.com)
Boeing 737-800 Malaysia Airlines Delivery Ceremony – (Picture credit: superadrianme.com)

New MAS CEO-designate: Who is Christoph Mueller?

Christoph Mueller - Picture Credit: thejournal.ie
Christoph Mueller – Picture Credit: thejournal.ie

Recently Khazanah Nasional, the Malaysian government investment arm, has made an unconventional decision to appoint a non-Malaysian, Christoph Muller into a top position of the new management of Malaysia Airlines (NewCo). The existing company (OldCo) will be abolished and its assets and operations will be transferred to NewCo. The new company (NewCo) that manages the airline will be named as Malaysia Airlines Berhad, replacing the loss-making existing company (OldCo), Malaysia Airline System Berhad.

We scoured the internet to find more information about our new Malaysia Airlines CEO-designate, Mr. Christoph Mueller. Below are some of our findings:

Career before Aer Lingus

While most of Malaysians are aware that Mr. Mueller comes from Aer Lingus, little is known about his previous career.

Christoph Mueller has a long list of credentials in aviation industry. Before his appointment to the board of executive management team in Aer Lingus, Mr. Mueller has held senior positions in big companies such as Daimler Benz Aerospace, Lufthansa AG, DHL and Deutsche Post AG. His previous role before appointment as the CEO of Aer Lingus is the Aviation Director at TUI Travel plc, a British leisure travel group (Source). He is also affiliated with Cosa Instrument Corporation (Source).

Appointment as Aer Lingus’ CEO

The German-born Christoph Müller (alternately spelt as Mueller) was appointed to the Irish airline on October 1st 2009 after its former CEO, Dermot Mannion resigned on April 6th 2009.

His vast experience in aviation industry has made him the right candidate for the position. This is necessary for the transformation of Aer Lingus, which had been embroiled in losses for three consecutive years, namely 2008, 2009 and 2010. Source

The transformation and success of Aer Lingus

In early 2000s, Aer Lingus was making good income, having scored four years of profitability from 2002 to 2005. However, it made losses from 2006 to 2008, leaving Aer Lingus an urgent need to transform itself and

Soon after his appointment, Mueller tried to solve internal problem within the company, which has resulted in unsuccessful negotiations with the worker’s union of the airline.

After Aer Lingus has entered the phase of profitability, Ryanair, another low-cost carrier popular in Europe, tried to acquire it. However the acquisition went unsuccessful due to several reasons such as opposition by company competition authorities.

Etihad, a leading Middle Eastern carrier, also partnered with Aer Lingus for codesharing, together with United Airlines, KLM, British Airways and Jetblue.

Next Step: Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 at KLIA 9M-MXM 2014-09-21 08.33.02
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 at KLIA 9M-MXM 2014-09-21 08.33.02

The 52-year-old Mueller will start his new job at Malaysia Airlines from May 1st 2015. Analysts said it might be his toughest job ever, with Bloomberg.com describing it as “one of the toughest job in aviation” to lead a transformation effort of an airline that has lost two Boeing 777s with 537 passengers in just a year.

Mixed reaction can be seen from Malaysians. Some optimistic citizens voice out their support and solidarity with the restructuring plan while some others criticize the move. Among the ones who oppose the appointment is Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Mark D. Martin, the chief executive officer of Martin Consulting LLC said Mueller “may need at least six to nine months to familiarize himself with the company and the culture of Southeast Asia” – Bloomberg News.

Mueller is seen to be the right person to do the job because he managed to turn around Aer Lingus into profitability in just one year while facing stiff competition with the region’s leading budget carrier, Ryanair. Meanwhile, the similar situation can be observed in Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines has already struggled to stay profitable due to stiff competition with the region’s leading budget carrier, AirAsia.