AirAsia flight QZ 8501 is missing with 162 people on board. The aircraft, due to land in Singapore several hours ago, reportedly lost contact with air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. Singapore time on Sunday. BBC News reports that the plane, an Airbus 320-200, originated from the city of Surabaya in Indonesia.
Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa tells CTV News that the plane asked for an unusual route prior to losing contact with Jakarta air traffic control. The last contact was made 42 minutes after takeoff at 5:35 a.m. and was believed to be over the Java Sea between the Kalimantan and Java islands at that time. Of the 162 people on board the plane, 155 were passengers and seven were crew members.
At this time, the flight status shown on the website for the airport in Singapore still shows “delayed” but shortly before 11 p.m., AirAsia tweeted about the missing plane, stating, “AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact at 07:24 hrs this morning.”
AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact at 07:24hrs this morning http://t.co/WomRQuzcPO
— AirAsia (@AirAsia) December 28, 2014
AirAsia also issued a complete statement on their Facebook page about the missing flight.
“AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning.
“At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
“At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service. AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801.”
News of the missing AirAsia flight spread quickly on Twitter, with many people tweeting their thoughts about the passengers, crew and the families of those on board the missing plane.
@AirAsia Pray for all crew and passangers. All the best, AirAsia.
— Dian Noeh Abubakar (@dian_noeh) December 28, 2014
Thoughts are with those on board and their families @AirAsia
— Sam Mangan (@SpinandCo) December 28, 2014
AirAsia is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and runs both domestic and international flights to 100 destinations in 22 countries.