AirAsia flight QZ8501: Relatives and next-of-kin adopting wait and see approach

Relatives and next-of-kin of passengers on missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 have begun streaming again at about 8am on Monday morning into the holding area set up for them at Changi Airport's Terminal 2. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
Relatives and next-of-kin of passengers on missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 have begun streaming again at about 8am on Monday morning into the holding area set up for them at Changi Airport's Terminal 2. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
The holding area for relatives and next-of-kin at Changi Airport's Terminal 2. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The holding area for relatives and next-of-kin at Changi Airport's Terminal 2. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Relatives and next-of-kin of passengers on missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 have begun streaming again at about 8am on Monday morning into the holding area set up for them at Changi Airport's Terminal 2.

"I would say many of them are adopting a wait-and-see approach, and waiting for updates," said a Changi Airport Group spokesman, when asked if these next-of-kin would be travelling to Surabaya later today.

"There are many flights to Surabaya every day, and AirAsia, which is facilitating the travel, could get them seats on any of them," said the spokesman, who declined to reveal how many relatives were inside the holding area.

But he added that people inside were being provided emotional support by airport staff and were very "stoic".

Since 7am this morning, more than 20 airport staff and auxiliary police were seen entering and leaving the cordoned holding area on the second level of T2.

At about 9am, a man dragging a suitcase who looked to be a relative of one of the passengers, was hurried into the holding area by officers before reporters could talk to him.

Changi Airport Group said in a statement on Sunday that 47 relatives and friends of 57 passengers have registered at the relatives' holding area.

Sixteen of them flew to Surabaya on Sunday night.

The missing flight was supposed to land at 8.30am on Sunday morning but was declared missing after contact was lost amid bad weather conditions.

Search operations are currently underway to locate the missing plane.

Of the 162 crew and passengers, there are 155 Indonesians, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, one British and three South Koreans. The Singaporean is a two-year-old girl who is travelling with her father, a British national.