Flight QZ8501 unauthorised. Will insurance pay?

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Free Malaysia Today reports via AFP that the AirAsia plane that crashed last weekend was flying on an unauthorised schedule. Indonesia’s transport ministry said Saturday, adding it had now frozen the airline’s permission to fly the route.

This interestingly begs the question if the flight, passengers and plane are covered by insurance?

What is also interesting is, “Why then did the air traffic controllers then allow the flight to go on?”

Mr. Director General of air transport Djoko Murjatmodjo was asked in a posting by an FMT reader Kalaimagan Perasam.

“It is the sole responsibility of the air traffic controllers to know the allowed and disallowed routes, so why did they allow it in the first place? I am not from the aviation industry but I am pretty sure the flight time and routes are decided by the Air Traffic controllers and I am cocksure that planes cannot take off without prior approval from air traffic controllers.”

Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board en route from Indonesia’s second city Surabaya to Singapore early Sunday, at a flight time that had not been cleared by officials, said director general of air transport Djoko Murjatmodjo.

“It violated the route permit given, the schedule given, that’s the problem,” he told AFP.

“AirAsia’s permit for the route has been frozen because it violated the route permit given.”

He said the permit would be frozen until investigations were completed.

A statement from transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata said AirAsia was not permitted to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays and had not asked to change its schedule.