AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore confirmed missing
AirAsia flight number QZ8501, bound from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has lost contact with air traffic control, the airline has confirmed. The missing flight is an Airbus A320-200 with up to 162 people on board.
Indonesia air transport authorities have provided details of the plane’s last position.
“We are coordinating with the rescue team and looking for its position. We believe it is somewhere between Tanjung Pandan, a town on Belitung island, and Kalimantan,” Indonesia’s air transportation director-general Djoko Murjatmodjo stated, as cited by AFP.
Also, air force spokesman Marsma Hadi Tjahjanto confirmed that the Air Force was using the last point of contact to conduct an air search.
According to an Indonesian transport official, there are 155 passengers and crew aboard the plane. Other local media, however, cited a figure of 162 people.
The Sunday Times of Singapore reported that there were 155 people on board the Airbus: 149 Indonesians, three Koreans, and individual passengers from the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The flight was due to land in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) and was listed as “delayed.”
AirAsia has confirmed the plane has gone missing in a statement.
“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 company said.
It added that “search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said that services have been “activated” to help Indonesia search for the missing flight.
An Emergency Call Center with the number +622129850801 has been established for family and friends of those who may have been on board the flight.
Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia is believed to be one of the safest air carriers in the world. Until today there have been only two incidents with its aircraft. In both cases they overran runways. One took place in November 7, 2004, at Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu airport (Flight 104, Boeing 737). Another incident with Flight 5218 (Airbus A320-200) occurred in Malaysia’s Kuching on January 10, 2011.