AirAsia flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore missing
An AirAsia flight carrying 162 people from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday, officials in the region and the budget carrier said.
Flight QZ 8501, an Airbus 320-200, lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 6:17 a.m. (6.17 p.m. EST), Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa told media.
It had 155 passengers and crew on board, another Indonesian Transport official said.
Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia confirmed its flight had lost contact with air traffic control and said a search-and-rescue operation had been launched.
Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact.
Search and rescue operations have begun, AirAsia Indonesia said on its Facebook page.
The carrier also released a statement listing 162 people on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and one infant along with two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer.
The nationalities of the passengers and crew onboard include one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, three South Koreans and 156 Indonesians.
The flight had been due in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. Singapore time (0030 GMT). The Singapore airport said on its website the status of the flight was "delayed".
The incident comes at the end of a disastrous year for Malaysia\’s airlines.
National flag carrier Malaysia Airlines lost two aircraft this year.
Its flight MH370 went missing on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.
On July 17, Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.