Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 is a 737-500 (classic narrow-body airline jet) — the aircraft in question is 26 years old. The airline had the highest certification of safety available in Indonesia.
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said the Boeing 737-500 took off from Jakarta at about 1:56 p.m. and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40 p.m.
The aircraft lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than 60 seconds, according to Flightradar24
A Sriwijaya Air passenger jet carrying 62 people lost contact with air traffic controllers after taking off from Indonesia’s capital on Saturday on a domestic flight, officials said.
A statement released by the airline said the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province on Indonesia’s Borneo island. There were 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.
Debris has been found in the area where search and rescue operations for Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 are being conducted, but there is no confirmation they belong to the Boeing 737 aircraft.
The country’s aviation safety commission said it was on alert and that the transportation minister was on his way to the international airport in Jakarta. Patrol boats were seen in waters northwest of Jakarta where the plane was last seen, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said.
Sriwijaya Air is an Indonesian airline based in Jakarta with its headquarters located at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport M1 Area in Tangerang, near Jakarta.
In 2007, Sriwijaya Air received the Boeing International Award for Safety and Maintenance of aircraft, awarded after passing the inspection carried out over a few months. In the same year Sriwijaya Air received Aviation Customer Partnership Award from Pertamina. In 2008, Sriwijaya Air was awarded an award by Markplus & Co., signifying public appreciation of the services provided by Sriwijaya Air. In August 2015, Sriwijaya Air also achieved BARS (Basic Aviation Risk Standard) Certification that issued by Flight Safety Foundation.Aircraft maintenance is done by PT. ANI (Aero Nusantara Indonesia), AiRod Sdn Bhd and Garuda Indonesia Maintenance Facility (GMF AeroAsia).
Sriwijaya Air is the country’s third-largest carrier, operating a fleet of narrow-body aircraft, and offers flights to various Indonesian destinations and a few international destinations. The airline is listed as a Category 1 airline by Indonesia’s Civil Aviation Authority, the highest status that can be achieved for operational safety.
In 2003, Sriwijaya Air was founded by Chandra Lie, Hendry Lie, Andi Halim and Fandy Lingga, who named it after the historical Srivijaya empire. That same year, on 28 April, it obtained its business licence, while the AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) was issued later that year on 28 October. Commencing operations on 10 November 2003, the airline initially launched flights between Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang, before introducing new routes such as Jakarta-Pontianak and Jakarta-Palembang. In its first year, Sriwijaya Air experienced rapid growth, and by June 2009, Sriwijaya Air was operating 23 aircraft, serving more than 33 domestic and 2 international routes.
At the Paris Air Show 2011, Sriwijaya Air agreed to buy 20 Embraer 190 jets, with purchase rights for 10 more. However, the airline cancelled its plan to operate the Embraer 190 shortly afterwards, instead deciding to utilize the 737 aircraft it already owned.
In 2011, the airline began leasing 12 second-hand Boeing 737-500 with a total value of $84 million to replacing its ageing Boeing 737-200 aircraft, with deliveries taking place between April and December 2011.
Currently Sriwijaya Air in progress to retire its entire 737 Classic fleet with the Boeing 737-800. It took delivery of 2 such aircraft in 2014, 6 737-800 in 2015 and planned to acquire up to 10 more aircraft in 2016. In Paris Airshow 2015, Sriwijaya Air also signed an order for 2 units of 737-900ER with purchase option to acquire up to 20 unit of Boeing 737 MAX. This deal was the first time for Sriwijaya Air to take a brand-new aircraft after almost 12 years operating in Indonesia. It took delivery of its first and second Boeing 737-900ER on 23 August 2015.
As of November 2015 (for NAM Air since its forming in 2013), Sriwijaya Air and NAM Air are the only airlines in Indonesia that permit female flight attendants to wear the hijab in all regular flights, and are among the airlines in Southeast Asia that allow it alongside Royal Brunei Airlines and Rayani Air. Other airlines in Indonesia known only allow their female flight attendant to use the hijab when operating Hajj/Umra flights or flights to Middle East especially to Saudi Arabia.
In November 2018, Garuda Indonesia through its subsidiary Citilink took over operations as well as financial management of Sriwijaya Air by a cooperation agreement (KSO).
On November 8, 2019. Cooperation Agreement (KSO) between Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Air was terminated, marked by the resumption of Sriwijaya Air’s ground service equipment which was originally stored while the Cooperation Agreement (KSO) was in progress. This is because PT. GMF Aero Asia .Tbk and PT. Gapura Indonesia. Tbk as subsidiaries from Garuda Indonesia Grup unilaterally stopped providing services to Sriwijaya Air passengers and causing various delays and abandoned passengers because the Sriwijaya Group did not pay in cash to the Garuda Indonesia Group for the provision of the service facilities.
Today, Sriwijaya Air is categorised as a Medium Service Airline which serves only light snacks. Sriwijaya Air had planned to expand into a full service airline, which are required to have at least 31 airplanes with business class seats and meals for passengers. However, as of 2015, the airline has yet to achieve its goal