AirAsia flight QZ8501: Arrangements made for another 11 next-of-kin to fly to Surabaya

A man claiming to be related to a passenger onboard missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Changi Airport on Dec 29, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
A man claiming to be related to a passenger onboard missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Changi Airport on Dec 29, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Arrangements have been made for 11 next-of-kin of passengers who were on board the ill-fated AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 to fly from Singapore to Indonesia.

This is on top of the 16 who left last night.

In a joint update last night, Singapore's Transport Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that the arrangements were made by AirAsia.

QZ8501, which departed Surabaya for Singapore on Sunday morning with 162 passengers and crew, has been missing for more than 36 hours now.

It is believed to have crashed in the Java Sea.

In their joint statement, the ministry and CAAS said that Indonesia has accepted Singapore's offer of two teams of specialists and two sets of underwater locator beacon detectors to assist in locating the plane's flight data recorders.

Singapore has also offered additional equipment and personnel from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, including a sidescan sonar system and a robotic remotely-operated vehicle.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) deployed two C-130 aircraft to continue the search and locate operation on Monday, with the first taking off at around 6.30am in the morning and the second around noon.

The RSAF plans to fly two sorties tomorrow.

The Republic of Singapore Navy's Formidable-class frigate (RSS Supreme) and Missile corvette (RSS Valour) have arrived at the search area and commenced work. A Landing ship tank (RSS Persistence) also sailed off on Monday evening to join in the efforts.

As search operations for missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 continue into its second day, Singapore continues to provide support and assistance to the next-of-kin of passengers, which includes regular briefings by representatives of AirAsia, Changi Airport Group and Singapore's Ministry of Transport.