Tony Fernandes discusses the Air Asia crash

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Tony Fernandes discusses the Air Asia crash

Post by Rbee » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:32 pm

Owner and chief executive of airline has witnessed the aftermath of crash first-hand and admits he gets texts from victims' families every day

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has revealed the last seven weeks have been the 'worst 50 days of my life' following the AirAsia crash last year.

On December 28 last year AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the sea between Surabaya and Singapore, with 162 people on board.

Fernandes , owner and chief executive of the airline, says that matters at Loftus Road understandably took a back seat during the devastating events of late last year.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday , Fernandes said: ‘I think the only way I do know how to manage these things is with my heart.

"Just confront it and deal with it. It has just been a nightmare to be honest. The only way I know how to deal with it is to deal with it.

‘I get text messages every day from the families. They all have my mobile phone number.

"I’ve been going to funerals and that’s hard. But the families have been amazing to us. They’ve given me strength."

Fernandes has also spent time helping with the aftermath of the incident and admits it was tough speaking to families of those involved.

He added: "That was really hard. What do you say to someone who has lost five people on their plane?

"I don’t know. Human nature, whatever, gives you the strength to find a way.

"Burying my own staff was a nightmare. Taking a 22-year-old girl on a plane and burying her in her home town. But you find the strength.

"I apologised. It’s not our fault.

"But what else can you say? They were on my aircraft. And they’re not with them.

"And we just sat and talked and made them feel very comfortable that whatever happens, we would find them and we wouldn’t give up.

"And I think that was very reassuring. We haven’t found everyone yet.

"There are still more than 50 people unaccounted for. But we just talked to them and let them talk to me, show me pictures and tell stories."

Details of December’s AirAsia disaster QZ8501 are beginning to emerge. Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee released further details on Thursday about the accident, saying that the co-pilot was at the controls, and that he engaged in a steep climb before the plane stalled and plunged into the ocean.

Captain Ertata Lananggalih, senior air safety investigator, said storm clouds at the time rose to a height of 44,000 ft. The pilot requested to fly at 38,000 ft instead of 32,000 ft, but was granted permission to ascend to 34,000 ft

At 32,000 ft, the plane tilted to the left before it ascended to about 37,400 ft in about 30 seconds. It took another 30 seconds to return to 32,000 ft, after which it started falling slowly, taking about three minutes to plunge into the sea.

An official report on the AirAsia crash has not been released and may take up to seven months.

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