AirAsia flight QZ8501: Tony Fernandes says tragedy a permanent scar in his life

AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes at the crisis centre at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya on Dec 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes at the crisis centre at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya on Dec 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SURABAYA - AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes refused to speculate what caused Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 to plunge into the water, saying that a proper investigation would reveal its true fate.

"Let the black box tell everything. Further investigation will be done the moment we manage to retrieve the black box. It is very improper and inappropriate for me to speculate on anything", Mr Fernandes said, according to The Star newspaper.

Speaking in Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya after meeting with distraught relatives of some of the 162 passengers, Mr Fernandes said he “apologised profusely” for the accident.

“The passengers were on my aircraft and I have to take responsibility for that,” he said, adding that he was focusing on supporting the families.

AirAsia QZ8501 debris

On Tuesday, aerial searchers spotted debris in the Java Sea that officials confirmed was from the plane that had been travelling from Surabaya to Singapore. Three bodies were then recovered. “It’s an experience I never dreamt of happening and it’s probably an airline CEO’s worst nightmare,” Mr Fernandes said.

He said he intends to visit the site of the tragedy with team members on Wednesday (Dec 31), reported Bernama.

“My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am,” he wrote on Twitter.

He also said that the tragedy will be a "scar that will be with me for the rest of my life", Jakarta Globe quoted him as saying.

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