A conflicting picture has emerged about the frequency of Indonesia AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore schedule following the crash of flight QZ8501 on 28 December 2014.
In a Facebook post, Indonesia’s ministry of transport says that the budget carrier violated the route permit by operating on a Sunday, but the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG) issued a joint-statement to clarify that Indonesia AirAsia had their approval for the route seven days a week.
This comes after Indonesia’s transport ministry suspended the budget carrier’s Surabaya-Singapore service on 2 January until the results of the investigation have been finalised.
Indonesia’s ministry of transport says that based on an earlier letter dated 24 October 2014 from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Indonesia AirAsia was only permitted to operate the Surabaya-Singapore route on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the Northern Winter 2014/15 period.
Indonesia’s transport ministry also adds that passengers who have booked tickets on the Surabaya-Singapore route will be redirected to other flights.
Meanwhile, the joint-statement by the CAAS and CAG says that Indonesia AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore service had been given approval by them to operate a daily flight from 26 October 2014 to 28 March.
"These daily flights were approved as there were available air traffic rights under the bilateral ASA [air services agreement] and the slots at Changi Airport were available," the statement says
It adds that the carrier was operating the flight four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and that airlines may adjust their flight frequencies in the course of a season in response to market demand or operational requirements.
Flight QZ8501, which operated the Surabaya-Singapore route on 28 December 2014, a Sunday, crashed in the Java Sea while apparently attempting to avoid inclement weather.
All 155 passengers and seven crew are believed to have been lost. At least 34 bodies, along with passenger luggage and debris, have been recovered so far.
Source: Cirium Dashboard