Lion Air passenger flight carrying 189 people crashes into sea in Indonesia

Roman Schwartz
October 29, 2018

A Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang, the largest city on Banka island has crashed, according to Indonesia search and rescue officials.

"It has been confirmed that it has crashed", said Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia's search and rescue agency, according to Reuters.

Rescuers are hoping to find survivors among the debris after a passenger plane crashed into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, in Indonesia.

Aviation tracking website Flightradar24 says the Lion Air plane that crashed after takeoff from Jakarta was a brand-new aircraft that has only been in use for a couple of months.

Suneja was piloting a Boeing 737 Max on a routine flight between the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang when misfortune struck.

Chief executive Edward Sirait told Reuters: "We can not give any comment at this moment".

"We are still confirming data on the names against the flight manifest", Nufransa said on Monday. Malindo Air, a Malaysian subsidiary of Jakarta-based Lion Air, was the first airline using the 737 Max 8 past year.

The plane was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a brand new aircraft and the cause of the crash has not been confirmed.

"Lion Air is very concerned about this incident and will work with relevant agencies and all parties", said spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro.

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Lion Air in a statement said Suneja had 6,000 flight hours.

According to his Linkedin profile, before joining Lion Air, he was associated with Emirates as a trainee pilot.

"We don't know yet if there are any survivors". LionAir in a statement said Suneja had more than 6,000 flying hours, while the co-pilot had amassed more than 5,000 hours of flying time.

"We are there already, our vessels, our helicopter is hovering above the waters, to assist", Mr Syaugi said.

The Max 8 is part of Boeing Co.'s latest narrow-body 737 series.

He joined the Indonesian carrier, Lion Air, seven years ago.

"The aircraft was carrying 178 adult passengers, one child and two babies, with two pilots and five flight attendants", said Sindu Rahayu, directorate general of Civil Aviation at the transport ministry.

And relatives of passengers on-board the plane have gone to Soekarno Hatta International airport, near Jakarta, to wait for more information on their loved ones. Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. Due to the problems, the USA and the European Union had banned it from operating in their airspace, but both lifted that restriction in 2016.

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