Delhi resident Bhavye Suneja was the captain of the Indonesian Lion Air plane which crashed into the Java Sea Monday morning with 189 passengers on board, according to media reports.
The rescue operations are still underway and officials have no information on casualties as of now.
Bhavya Suneja’s LinkedIn profile states that he belongs to New Delhi's Mayur Vihar area and has been associated with the airline since March 2011.
Earlier, he was a trainee pilot with Emirates for three months. He had received his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009. LionAir in a statement said Suneja had more than 6,000 flying hours, while the co-pilot had amassed more than 5,000 hours of flying time.
Indonesia’s Search And Rescue Agency has released an official statement which says the reason for the crash is still unclear. The Emergency Local Transmitter beacon on the plane did not emit a distress signal. Thus, the crash of the plane was not monitored by the Medium Earth Orbital Local User Terminal at the Basarnas [Search and Rescue] head office.
Lion Air, one of Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, said the brand-new aircraft, on a 1-hour-and-10-minute flight to Pangkal Pinang on an island chain off Sumatra, was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and eight crew members.
The National Search and Rescue Agency's deputy chief, Nugroho Budi Wiryanto, said some 300 people including soldiers, police and local fishermen are involved in the search and that so far it has recovered no bodies - only ID cards, personal belongings and aircraft debris.
Indonesia relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has a poor aviation safety record and has suffered several fatal crashes in recent years. A 12-year-old boy was the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed eight people in mountainous eastern Indonesia in August.
Lion Air, a low-cost airline, has been involved in a number of mishaps.
Last year one of its Boeing jets collided with a Wings Air plane as it landed at Kualanamu airport on the island of Sumatra, although no one was injured.