Citilink Pilot Dies After Emergency Landing in East Java

A pilot’s medical emergency forced a Citilink airplane to conduct an emergency landing in East Java, Indonesia, shortly after take-off on Thursday.

According to the CEO of Indonesia’s low-cost airline, the flight departed Surabaya’s Juanda Airport for Makassar at 6:00 in the morning. After 15 minutes in the air, the co-pilot had to take control of the aircraft when the captain experienced a medical emergency.

Upon landing, the captain was transported to a nearby hospital, where he arrived already dead.

The airline claims pre-departure health checks were conducted on all crew members and nothing amiss was found.

The captain’s body will be transported to his home in Jakarta for his funeral.

UPDATE: The pilot has been identified as 48-year-old Cpt. Boy Awalia.

Most Indonesians are Muslims who follow the tradition of burying their dead within 24 hours of passing.


Citilink passengers are required to show proof of at least two COVID shots plus a negative test in order to be allowed onto domestic flights. Those who can show proof of three doses (2 primary + 1 booster) do not need to show a test result.

In February 2021, Citilink and its parent company Garuda announced the implementation of a COVID vaccination program for all pilots and cabin crew.

In December 2020, President Jokowi announced COVID-19 vaccines would be provided free for all Indonesians.

The vaccines distributed in the Southeast nation in 2021 included Sinovac, Novavax, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

At least 75 percent of the country’s population of 276 million has had at least one dose.

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