The Lion Air flight that crashed Monday morning into Indonesian seas was commanded by Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja. A total of 189 passengers and crew were aboard the plane that took off from Jakarta and went missing minutes later. The rescue operations are still underway and officials have no information on survivors as of now.
According to Suneja’s LinkedIn profile, he belongs to New Delhi and is associated with the airline since March 2011. The 31-year-old captain had received his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009. Lion Air in a statement said Suneja had more than 6,000 flying hours, while the co-pilot Harvino, an Indonesian, had amassed more than 5,000 hours of flying time. Suneja lived in Jakarta with his wife. The rest of the family lives in Delhi and will fly to Jakarta tonight. Follow Indonesia plane crash LIVE updates
Apart from Suneja and Harvino, the plane’s cabin crew included Shintia Melina, Citra Noivita Anggelia, Alviani Hidayatul Solikha, Damayanti Simarmata, Mery Yulianda, and Deny Maula. Three of the flight attendants were being trained and one was a technician. Lion Air said in a statement.
The cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained. Indonesia’s disaster agency posted photos online of a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.
The National Search and Rescue Agency’s deputy chief, Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, said some 300 people including soldiers, police and local fishermen are involved in the search and that so far it has recovered no bodies _ only ID cards, personal belongings and aircraft debris.
Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines. The brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 was delivered to Lion Air in mid-August and put in use within days, according to aviation website Flightradar24. Boeing spokesman Paul Lewis says Boeing is “closely monitoring the situation” but did not provide details on the aircraft in question.
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