AirAsia flight QZ8501: Airline 'to offer $133k payout' for each victim

The body of an AirAsia QZ8501 passenger, recovered from the Java Sea, is carried to an ambulance after it arrived on a Indonesian Search and Rescue (BASARNAS) helicopter at an airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan Jan 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTER
The body of an AirAsia QZ8501 passenger, recovered from the Java Sea, is carried to an ambulance after it arrived on a Indonesian Search and Rescue (BASARNAS) helicopter at an airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan Jan 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SURABAYA - AirAsia will offer compensation of about US$100,000 (S$133,000) for each passenger of the ill-fated Flight QZ8501, in addition to the initial payment of US$24,000 that was offered earlier to family members, CNN has reported.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that the airline was conferring with families individually on the initial compensation, meant to help them with their immediate financial hardship.

The Indonesia AirAsia flight went down in bad weather in the Java Sea with 162 people on board, including 155 passengers. No survivors have been found so far.

Some families had declined the initial offer without further information about compensation, citing confusion over the wording of the letter and reservations about the airline's practice of approaching families individually, the Wall Street Journal report said.

On Tuesday, Captain Raden Achmad Sadikin, Indonesia AirAsia's director of safety and security, said the company is conferring with families separately because "we respect that (some) families are still hoping to see that their relatives survived, so we offered (compensation first) to those whose family members have been identified".

He said the company is preparing a total payout based on Indonesian regulations.

The Indonesian agency that regulates the country's financial sector said on Tuesday that airline insurers were liable for a compensation amount of 1.25 billion rupiah (S$138,000) for each of the 155 passengers, and an additional 315 million rupiah to 750 million rupiah for 25 passengers who had purchased flight insurance.

It put to rest speculation that insurers may not have to make payouts after it was revealed AirAsia did not have a permit to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on the day of the crash. It did not play a role in the crash, said the agency.