Mumbai: An Indian pilot, Bhavye Suneja was the captain of the Indonesian Lion Air plane which crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning with 189 passengers on board.
The rescue operations are still underway and the officials have no information on causalities as of now.
There were seven crew members on the flight, including the captain, Bhavye Suneja, 31.
The cabin crew were Shintia Melina, Citra Noivita Anggelia, Alviani Hidayatul Solikha, Damayanti Simarmata, Mery Yulianda, and Deny Maula.
Suneja was a resident of Mayur Vihar, Delhi and studied at the Ahlcon Public School in the locality. He joined the low-cost carrier Lion Air in March 2011. The airline said that he had 6,000 flight hours. He was also a trainee pilot with Emirates from September and December 2010.
The co-pilot Harvino had more than 5,000 flight hours.
One of the senior officials said that Suneja was planning to shift back to New Delhi.
Kapish Gandhi, cousin of Suneja said, “Suneja’s parents learned of the disaster this morning and will be travelling to Jakarta tonight. Suneja lived in Jakarta with his wife. They have married two years ago. The rest of family is from Delhi.”
“We saw it on the television this morning and didn’t know whether to believe it,” Gandhi said. “We are all speechless.”
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency released an official statement that states the reason for the crash is still unclear. According to reports, video footage apparently filmed at the scene of the crash showed a slick of fuel on the surface of the water.
Lion Air, a low-cost airline, has been involved in a number of mishaps.
Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, Deputy Chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency said some 300 people including soldiers, police and local fishermen are involved in the operation and so far they have recovered no bodies –only ID cards, personal belongings and aircraft debris.