Missing EgyptAir Flight MS804 Crashed After Entering Egyptian Airspace, Confirms Airbus

The EgyptAir flight MS804 that went missing after leaving Paris, en route to Cairo, Egypt, has crashed. Confirming the news, Airbus added that the flight went down in the Mediterranean Sea.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has confirmed that EgyptAir flight MS804 that suddenly disappeared from radar while flying from Paris to Cairo with 56 passengers and 10 crew members onboard, has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The manufacturer had earlier mentioned that the A320 operated by EgyptAir “was lost” at around 2:30 a.m. local time. Making the grim announcement, a spokesperson for the manufacturer said:

“Our concerns go to all those affected. In line with ICAO annex 13, Airbus stands-by ready to provide full technical assistance to French Investigation Agency – BEA – and to the Authorities in charge of the investigation.”

The plane was on its routine scheduled flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport. The aircraft, with registration SU-GCC, had recently flown to Tunis, in Tunisia, Asmara, in Eritrea, Brussels, in Belgium, Alexandria, in Egypt, and Beirut in Lebanon, reported the Independent. The plane had clocked a total of 48,000 flight hours and was deemed completely fit to fly. It was inducted into the EgyptAir fleet in November 2003.

An investigation has been automatically initiated in the disappearance of the flight MS804. According to official records, EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar at 2.30 a.m. local time (1.30 a.m. BST). It had been flying for close to three and a half hours and had just entered Egyptian airspace. The Egyptian military noted that no official distress call was made by the pilots. However, the airline later confirmed that an automatic “signal” was received from the plane. It appears the plane might have sent a distress signal by itself moments before disappearing completely from radar.

According to AFP News Agency, the missing EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed off Greek island of Karpathos in Egyptian airspace. The agency relied on sources in Greek airport.

The flight had departed from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport at 11:09 p.m. on Wednesday. It was to fly non-stop to Cairo International Airport and land at approximately 3:00 a.m. Egyptian time on Thursday. The late-night four-hour flight was flying at regulation cruising altitude of 37,000 feet. However, a mere 15 minutes before it was to land at Cairo, the plane lost all contact with the air traffic controller (ATC). Its last transmission was at 2:30 a.m. Cairo time. According to the ATC, the plane was just 10 miles into Egyptian airspace, over the Mediterranean Sea, when it disappeared.

Military search and rescue teams picked up an automated signal from the plane’s emergency beacon at 4.26 a.m. Cairo time — around 80 minutes after it was supposed to land in Cairo, reported Sky News. It is likely that the impact might have triggered the transmission.

According to the official passenger roster, EgyptAir flight MS804 had 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptians, 15 French passengers, two Iraqis, and one passenger each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, confirmed the airline. The plane also had a child and two babies without their official guardians. The children were being accompanied by three security officers.

EgyptAir Flight 804 was an Airbus A320, one of the safest and most reliable aircraft in operation today. About 6,700 of these commercial jetliners are flying for various carriers across the world. With its inaugural flight in 1988, the Airbus A320 is one of the older models from the company, but it has had an excellent track record.

Unlike the Russian Metrojet flight that crashed over the Sinai desert, which is also in Egypt, no terrorist organization has staked claim to the crash of the EgyptAir plane. Since the airplane crashed while it was in Egyptian airspace, the country will lead the investigation, which will be assisted by other countries including France.

[Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]