Indonesia plane crash: India-born Captain Suneja among 188 feared dead

Bhavye Suneja, captain of the Lion Air plane that crashed
The ill-fated Indonesian carrier Lion Air's flight, that crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Monday, was reportedly being flown by an Indian captain.

The plane was carrying 188 passengers and crew and authorities are yet to find any survivor.

According to the Times of India, the captain, Bhavye Suneja, was a resident of Mayur Vihar in Delhi. He joined Indonesia's

low-cost carrier Lion Air in March 2011 and used to fly the Boeing 737.

Citing the VP of a leading airline in India that operates the Boeing 737, the daily reported that Suneja was considering returning to India.

“We spoke this July. He is a very sweet sounding person. Being an experienced pilot of the B737 with an incident, accident free record, we were keen to have him with us because of his good credentials. His only request was that he wanted a Delhi posting as he is from the city,” the senior official told TOI.

Suneja's Linkedin profile shows that he got his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009. He joined Emirates in 2010 and shifted to Lion Air in Jakarta in March 2011.

The airline, Lion Air, has a mixed safety record.

Before Monday's crash, the airline had not reported a fatal accident since 2004, when 25 people died after the DC-9 they were on, crashed amid heavy rain at Solo City in central Java.

Monday's disaster was a blow to the country's aviation safety record after the lifting of bans on its airlines by the European Union and US.

The European Union barred Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe in 2007 over to safety concerns.

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