Indonesia to consider raising budget airfares after Lion Air crash -minister

Frederick Owens
November 3, 2018

Indonesian investigators on Thursday said they found the flight data recorders from the Lion Air Flight JT610, a discovery that should help explain why the new Boeing 737 crashed on Monday, killing all 189 people on board.

Divers interviewed by local media said they were forced to bury into mud on the seabed at depths of at least 32 metres in order to find the recorder.

The black box could provide clues to what happened after the still-new plane lost contact with ground staff just 13 minutes after taking off early on Monday from Jakarta, on its way to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.

The crash has renewed concerns about the safety of Indonesian airlines, soon after U.S. and European regulators removed prohibitions against them.

The black box was orange in colour and intact, he said, without specifying if the item was the flight data recorder or the cockpit voice recorder.

Lion Air's founder and owner, Rusdi Kirana, also said it was too early to determine what led to the disaster, according to Bloomberg.

Poor visibility and underwater currents had stalled the mission, despite pings from the black box giving crews strong leads to its location.

Here is what we know so far about the Lion Air crash involving a brand new Boeing-made plane, and the investigation.

Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait has acknowledged reports of technical problems with the aircraft but said maintenance had been carried out "according to procedure" before it was cleared to fly again.

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Divers have been scouring the sea bed and have found belongings such as shoes, bags or shattered phones, pieces of plane and, among the debris, the grisly remains of those on board, mostly skin and hair.

The government has vowed "strict sanctions" on Lion Air if a probe by the safety board proves negligence on the part of the airline, the ministry said on Wednesday.

The JT610 plane that crashed off Jakarta was a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, a new model that was launched globally past year.

Thirteen minutes into the flight, the plane stopped communicating with Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and crashed into the sea.

"We can not make a similar conclusion (to ban Lion Air from Malaysia's air space)", he told reporters when asked whether there was a proposal to ban Lion Air flights in Malaysia following the crash.

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. Both lifted the restriction in 2016.

"We followed the signals and narrowed the search area".

Danang Mandala Prihantoro, a spokesman for Lion Air, said Wednesday that the airline fired its technical director, Muhammad Asif, at the direction of the Transportation Ministry. It's been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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