The transport ministry has suspended officials who allowed the flight to break rules by flying on the day it crashed.
Its clearance to fly four days a week between Surabaya and Singapore did not include Sundays.
“Who knows if other airlines are also doing the same thing?” asked Djoko Murjatmodjo, from the ministry of transport. “If, after assessment, another airline is also not flying on the approved schedule, that is a violation and we will suspend it too.”
Murjatmodjo also met the Corruption Eradication Commission yesterday to discuss whether to investigate AirAsia for bribery, the Times reported.
The airline has refused to comment.
The investigation into the airlines is separate from that into the causes of the crash. However, it hints at a culture of corruption and rule breaking within the aviation industry, which will certainly be considered by crash investigators as well, according to the newspaper.
The ministry has questioned whether the captain of flight QZ8501 personally picked up a weather report before take-off, and has issued a directive to make this procedure mandatory.
The Airbus A320 crashed into the sea 42 minutes into the two-hour flight after the pilot’s request to climb to avoid bad weather was declined by air traffic control.
AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes wrote on Twitter: “Many sensational headlines on AirAsia. We have kept quiet as our focus is on families [of the dead]. One by one facts will come out and clear us.”
Meanwhile, bad weather continues to be the main challenge facing search and rescue operations following the crash of flight QZ8501
The search area is focused in the east part of the Java Sea involving more than 50 vessels, helicopters and 80 deep divers.
Five vessels have been deployed to focus on searching for the aircraft’s blackbox flight recorder, the airline confirmed.
Three more bodies were recovered as debris was found in the area such as passenger seats and oxygen masks.
The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia has recovered the remains of 37 victims, with 24 awaiting identification.
The AirAsia Airbus A320 went down on December 28.
There were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and one infant on board, along with two pilots and five crew.
Sourced from Travel Weekly