KANSAS CITY: Hawaiian Airlines will facilitate the Suleman family in escorting the body of Haris Suleman back to Indiana.
Haris, along with his father, flew from Indianapolis in Indiana to Greenland, Cairo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and finally to the islands of America Samoa on a fundraising mission. Haris lost his life when their plane crashed near American Samoa in the Pacific on July 23, while his father Babar Suleman is still missing.
Pakistani officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday that Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani and Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin requested Hawaiian Airlines President Mark Dunkerley to book a seat for Monday night to bring Haris' body to his hometown in Indiana.
The flight carrying Haris and his family members is expected to land early morning on July 29, they added.
Ambassador Jilani, on directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is helping to make arrangements for the teen pilot's funeral. Senior officials from the Pakistan Consulate General in Chicago will also attend his funeral prayers in Indiana on Thursday.
After the crash incident, the pilot's family sought assistance from the American government and Pakistani embassy.
Faleomavaega said in an official statement issued by the Pakistani embassy in Washington: “Hawaiian Airlines responded to our joint request in a matter of hours and assured us that a seat has been reserved for a member of the Suleman family to accompany Haris home.”
Search for Babar
Director of the Department of Homeland Security, Utuali Luniasolua Savusa, told local media that bad weather has hampered the search operation. "There is not much we can do for recovery of Babar Suleman's body until the bad weather clears," he told Samoa News.
Officials of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Central Regional Office said that the marine portal boat and local tug boat are continuing the search operation in the sea despite bad weather. The search has been extended after expiration of 72 mandatory time, they added.
The local Coastal Guards Administration also has divers assisting with the search.
Family members including Hyder Suleman, Hussain Suleman, Cyrus Suleman and Nabel Raazi are cooperating with the search operation team on the spot. “We are hopeful—searchers will bring back Babar Suleman,” a family member, who sought anonymity, told The Express Tribune. The family member said that they are staying at Tradewinds Restaurant where the local administration is facilitating them.