An AirAsia flight with over 160 people on board travelling to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya went missing after losing contact with air traffic control, the company said on Sunday. A search mission is underway. AirAsia flight number QZ8501, bound from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has lost contact with air traffic control. The missing flight is an Airbus A320-200 with up to 162 people on board.
The aircraft had been flying at 32,000 feet and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid clouds, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry, according to Reuters.
There were 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant, and 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew on board, according to the latest statement from AirAsia. Among the total of 162 people on board there were 156 Indonesians, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, and three South Koreans.
Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have offered Indonesia help in the search for missing flight QZ8501. Malaysia is sending vessels and a C130 aircraft while Singapore is also sending a C130, officials said, as cited by Reuters.
No wreckage of flight QZ5801 has been found, an Indonesian Navy official told the BBC. He added weather conditions were poor in the search area.
Boats have been sent from Tanjung Pandan, the largest town on Belitung Island, but are not expected to reach the area until midnight local time, due to inclement weather and sea conditions, reported The Sun Herald.
A British national was on board missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
“We have been informed by the local authorities that one British national was on board. Their next of kin has been informed, and we stand ready to provide consular assistance,” an FCO official said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all family and friends of those on board QZ8501,” Malaysia airlines said on Twitter.
It’s been more than eight hours since contact was lost with AirAsia flight QZ8501. The plane only had fuel for 4.5 hours.
There weren’t seven but six crew members on board QZ8501, says Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry. That makes the overall number of people on the plane 161, not 162, as previously believed. There were 23 no-shows on the flight, according to passenger manifest.
No distress signal had been sent from the missing plane, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry, according to Reuters.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 28, 2014