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Flight QZ5801 dispatch information has been made public. It shows the plane took off with 8,296 kg of fuel, substantially more than the planned consumption for the flight - 5211 kg.
Now one of Asia's most successful carriers, AirAsia was once a struggling Malaysian government-owned company.
In 2001, former music executive Tony Fernandes bought the heavily-indebted firm for a token sum of 25 cents.
Keeping the brand name, he created Asia's first low-cost airline, taking on local established rivals such as Malaysia Airlines and Australia's Qantas.
With the slogan "Now Everyone Can Fly", AirAsia now covers approximately 100 destinations across more than 15 countries, although many of these flights are serviced by associates and subsidiaries that use the company's brand name.
The boss of AirAsia Group, Tony Fernandes, is also chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club in the UK
AirAsia's business model is similar to other so-called budget airlines. It offers no business or first class seats, and the average fare is roughly 170 Malaysian ringgit (£30; $48).
In the three months to the end of September, the AirAsia group made a pre-tax profit of 26.5m Malaysian ringgit (£4.8m; $7.6m), and carried almost 5.3 million passengers.
Indonesia AirAsia was set to float on the stock market in the last couple of years, but rising costs and the depreciation of the country's rupiah currency against the US dollar have delayed such a move.
Airbus says the A320 used on flight QZ8501 had accumulated some 23,000 flight hours over 13,600 flights.
AirAsia's brand image is closely tied with its chief executive, Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, who took over operations in 2001. Almost always in jeans and an AirAsia cap when interviewed, Mr Fernandes was seen as Malaysia's answer to Richard Branson.
In the same way that Mr Branson took on the dominance of British Airways in the 1980s, Mr Fernandes wanted to compete with established long-haul carriers in the region - like Malaysia's own flag carrier, Malaysian Airlines.
He's listed as one of the richest men in Malaysia and has always been adept at spinning his marketing message out to the media. With this plane's disappearance, he's wasted no time in tweeting out messages of support to the family and has already arrived in Surabaya along with members of the Indonesian affiliate of AirAsia.
originally posted by: angryhulk
A few people here are saying that "not everything can be found instantly, it takes time to find a plane", well I lost my iphone last year and using that simple bit of tech 'Find My Phone' I was able to track it to my friends house within minutes and recover it".
I get it, the scenario is a little different however, considering there are around 100 million iphones worldwide and most of which can be tracked instantly, and only around 30,000 planes I would expect that more time and effort would have been implemented into technology that enables you to track a plane. I bet most of the passengers on the plane have iphones aswell, which ironically we can track, better than the plane itself (apparently).
Air-traffic controllers lost contact with flight QZ8501 a little less than 45 minutes after it took off from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, on a two-hour hop to Singapore. It is feared that the 162 people on board have died.
Information about the aircraft’s fate is still scant. One certainty is that it was caught in storms: Indonesian authorities say the pilot requested permission to rise above towering clouds shortly before contact was lost. Radar images circulating on social media—purportedly leaked from an air-traffic control screen—suggest that the plane then began to climb at a speed that may have been slow enough to cause it to stall. At the moment there is no evidence that the plane was deliberately brought down.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia's British-Malaysian boss, has flown to Surabaya to meet the families of the passengers. Founded in 1996, AirAsia is a hugely popular low-cost carrier; for years it was among the world’s fastest growing airlines. From its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur it oversees a bevy of subsidiaries which fly to 22 countries (the group owns 49% of AirAsia Indonesia, which operates flight QZ8501). Its 170-odd red-liveried planes are all Airbus A320s, a reliable and safe model used by airlines around the world.
This has been a tragic year for South-East Asian air travel. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 remains lost, nine months after it disappeared in the Indian Ocean; in September 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. The latest incident will probably not much dent booming demand for air travel in the region, as rising incomes encourage more people to ditch ferries for a seat in the skies. But it will doubtless weigh heavily on AirAsia, which has lately begun to struggle against growing competition and increasing costs.