AirAsia Flight QZ8501
Muslims pray for the victims of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash at the Al-Akbar National Mosque in Surabaya Oscar Siagian/Getty Images

Grieving families of the victims on board AirAsia Flight QZ8501 have been offered less compensation than those relatives who lost families in the Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH17 disasters.

Relatives have rejected the offer of 300 million Indonesian Rupees (£15,700) by aviation insurer, Allianz, to assist with financial difficulties in the aftermath of last month's crash, which claimed 162 lives.

James Healy-Pratt, a leading aviation lawyer, is finding it increasingly difficult to explain to families why they are being treated "cheaply" in comparison.

"I have had real difficulty explaining to families that we are helping why AirAsia and its London Lead Aviation Insurer, Allianz, have offered each family precisely half of what Allianz offered families of MH370 and MH17," said Healy-Pratt.

"A good number of families have rejected this cut price offer of advanced compensation, and the feeling is that a low cost airline like AirAsia should not be treating the bereaved families of passengers cheaply, compared to flag carriers like Malaysian [Airlines]."

Healy-Pratt hopes Tony Fernandes, AirAsia's CEO, will be able to rectify the situation with families.

"If he really cares about the AirAsia 8501 families, then he should intervene without delay and offer each family US$50,000 (£33,000). I really hope for the sake of the AirAsia families that low cost does not mean low compensation."

Allianz refused to discuss the difference in the amounts paid to bereaved relatives of the AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. But assured the payments were not final settlements.

An AirAsia spokesman said: "These payments are in no way final settlements; they are initial payments to provide some financial relief to all those involved at this extremely difficult time. We will agree further compensation in due course in consultation with all involved parties."