UN Chief expresses condolences over AirAsia plane crash

New York (ANTARA News/Bernama) - United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has expressed his "sincerest condolences" to the families of the passengers and crew of an AirAsia Indonesia flight that crashed in the Java Sea last Sunday.

In a statement released Thursday, a UN spokesman said Ban had also extended his condolences to "the governments and the peoples of their countries of origin, particularly Indonesia, which suffered the greatest loss" and thanked "those governments that had joined in the search for the missing plane for their quick and able response".

The AirAsia Indonesia flight, QZ8501, vanished from radar on Dec 28 while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore with 155 passengers and seven crew.

Bodies and plane debris have been recovered in waters close to Pangkalan Bun in central Kalimantan, Indonesia, as recovery efforts continue amid harsh weather conditions in the Java Sea.

The latest disappearance, and subsequent crash, of the AirAsia aircraft has prompted aviation experts to renew the call to change the process of tracking all commercial jetliners.

The call was first made in May last year, some two months after a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight, MH370, disappeared shortly after departing from Kuala Lumpur for China.