AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Indonesia suspends 61 flights from 5 airlines found to have no valid permits to fly from the country

Indonesian Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan (left) talks to Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Indroyono Soeasilo (right) during their visit at Iskandar Military Airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Jan 7, 201
Indonesian Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan (left) talks to Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Indroyono Soeasilo (right) during their visit at Iskandar Military Airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Jan 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA - Indonesia has suspended 61 flights from five airlines who have been found to have no valid permits to fly from the country, its transport minister Ignasius Jonan said on Friday.

The decision to review flight permits comes in the wake of the tragedy involving AirAsia flight QZ8501 which crashed into the sea while on its way from Surabaya to Singapore.

AirAsia was later found in violation of running the flight on a Sunday without valid permit from Indonesia.

Mr Jonan also said that the ministry has suspended 11 officials for negligence and have audited 5 airports in the country since the ill-fated crash.

He said the transport ministry will set up an online system by the end of January to monitor flight permits.

None of the 162 people on board the AirAsia flight are believed to have survived the crash in the Java sea. More than 40 bodies have been recovered by the search personnel who have also found the tail of the aircraft.

The search for the black boxes placed in the tail is ongoing.

zubaidah@sph.com.sg