The crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia on Monday has brought to the fore concerns over poor aviation safety records in the country.
The Lion Air aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 8, was flying from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang when it lost contact and later confirmed as having crashed into the sea.
While aircraft was reportedly a brand one, having entered service for Lion Air on August 15, the crash was the first ever a Boeing 737 Max 8 had suffered. According to Boeing, this is the fastest selling aircraft at the moment.
While only a detailed investigations will bring out the reasons behind the crash, the biggest accident suffered by Indonesia's largest privately-owned Indonesian airline has brought Indonesian aviation safety back to focus.
The Australian government has already banned its staff from flying Lion Air. A statement posted on an Australian government website said this decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear.
It's not the first time the Australian government has banned its staff from flying Indonesian carriers. The Australian government had asked its staff not to fly on Indonesia's Susi Air after fatal crashes in 2011 and 2012.
In 2016, rating website AirlineRatings.com had given low ratings to a clutch of Indonesian airlines. The list showed that most of the airlines with poor safety records were from the archipelago nation. The airlines that figured in the list included Batik Air, Citilink, Kalstar Aviation, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, TransNusa Air Services, Wings Air and Xpress Air. The only non-Indonesian airlines to figure in the list was Nepal's Tara Air.
Indonesia, world's 5th largest domestic aviation market
In August 2016, Trigana Air aircraft crashed in Papua, killing 54 people. The airline received a zero rating in the AirlineRatings safety score.
Indonesia is the world's fifth-largest domestic aviation market, but poor airline safety records in the country have hogged limelight all too often.
Lion Air, which was involved in Monday's crash, was in an aviation black list by the European Union until 2016. The airline suffered more than a dozen accidents since 2002.
The only major accident suffered by Lion Air was the crash in 2004 in Solo that killed 25 people on board. But the airline has suffered several incidents, sending its safety ratings lower each time.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration had also intimated Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation that widespread non-compliance with international safety standards was a cause for concern.
While the death toll in Monday's accident is not officially revealed, some 189 people on board the doomed Lion Air flight are feared dead. If the deaths are confirmed, this would be the biggest air accident in Indonesia since the 2014 of an AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320 that killed 162 people.
It will also be the worst air disaster in the country since a Garuda Indonesia plane crash in Medan in 1997 that killed more than 200 people.