AirAsia plane crash ‘can’t be put into words’: CEO

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes says he gave his cellphone number to relatives of the 162 people killed in last month's crash of Flight QZ8501 because he wanted to help comfort the families.

He also turned to Twitter to offer his condolences and provide other information.


"It's very difficult because they lost loved ones," Fernandes told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday from Davos, Switzerland. "I think all I could do was provide comfort, provide assurance that we'd be there throughout—we'd never forget them."

The crash was "the toughest day of my life," he said. "It's not something you can actually put in words."

Fernandes added he has been actively engaging consumers through social media in order to provide transparency during the plane crash's investigation.


"I think people want to know, and they've got to hear it from the man in charge," he said. "I just think I'm the boss and I've got to lead from the front."

Fernandes also said the airline did have the proper flight permits at the time of the crash, despite rumors it did not. "The actual permit to fly was there," he said. "It's one of those things that happen. I think there were 60 other flights with similar issues."

The airline reported Wednesday that the body of one passenger has been identified as David Hartono and his remains were being handed over to his family. The remains of 47 of 53 recovered remains have been identified, it said.

"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ 8501," it said.