New Delhi: The pilot who was flying the ill-fated Lion Air flight, which crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Monday, was an Indian. 

Who was Bhavye Suneja? 

1. Bhavye Suneja, who hailed from Delhi, was an employee of the Indonesian carrier Lion Air for the past seven years.

2. Thirty-one-year-old Captain Suneja and co-pilot Harvino was commanding the aircraft when the accident happened. 

3. The captain and his co-pilot had 6,000 flight hours and 5,000 flight hours respectively, the airline said in a statement.

4. The flight also had six cabin crew members. 

5. The Indian embassy in Jakarta confirmed the death of the captain and took to Twitter to extend its condolences. 

 "Our deepest condolences over the tragic loss of lives in the Lion Air Plane crash, off the coast of Jakarta, today. Most unfortunate that Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja, who was flying the JT610, also lost his life... The embassy is in touch with the crisis centre, and is coordinating for all assistance,” it tweeted. 

The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea in December 2014, killing all 162 on board.

Indonesia’s disaster agency posted photos online of a crushed smartphone, books, bags, and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the 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 seven crew members.

The National Search and Rescue Agency said the flight ended in waters off West Java that are 30 to 35 metres deep.