KUALA LUMPUR – An AirAsia Indonesia’s plane with 162 people on board went missing en route from Surabaya to Singapore this morning.
The Airbus A320-200 aircraft lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24 am local time, according to AirAsia’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.
On board the missing Flight QZ8501 were 155 passengers, comprising 138 adults, 16 children and an infant.
In a statement, AirAsia said the plane had two pilots and five cabin crew, comprising four flight attendants and an engineer.
“At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of the Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority,” it said.
AirAsia Indonesia, it said, was cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.
Those on board the plane, with registration number PK-AXC, were 156 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and a French national.
The AirAsia statement said the aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting to deviate from the planned flight route due to weather before it lost communication with the Indonesian Air Traffic Control.
The flight took off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 5.35 am local time.
AirAsia said the captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer, a total of 2,275 flying hours.
The plane underwent its last scheduled maintenance on Nov 16, 2014, the aviation company said.
Indonesiaâ€™s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) began search and rescue this morning.
The Airbus 320 Air Asia flight was enroute Singapore route from Surabaya when had lost contact at 6.17am (West Indonesia Time) at Teluk Kumai, Central Kalimantan, the agency said.
Basarnas quoted officials at Soekarno Hatta Airport who said that the last contact with the aircraft was at coordinates 03 09 15 South â€“ 111 28 21 East.
It added that Airasia flight QZ8501 was supposed to enter Singapore airspace at 6.52am (West Indonesia time).
The plane was supposed to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am this morning. – Bernama