News reports are coming in that an AirAsia flight marketed as AirAsia flight number QZ8501 has gone missing with 162 aboard. The flight is operated by an Airbus A320 and departed Indonesia en route to Singapore.
The flight lost contact with Surabaya airport 42 minutes after takeoff at 5:35 a.m local time. The plane lost contact over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands.
The airline currently has no further reports regarding the flights status. “The plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact” said Transport Minister Hadi Mustofa. Indonesian TV is reporting that there were 155 Indonesians, 3 South Koreans, 1 Singaporean, 1 British, 1 French, and 1 Malaysian citizen aboard the flight.
Those aboard the flight included 155 passengers, 2 pilots, and 5 crew members. New reports suggest that the cockpit requested a new flight plan due to bad weather.
Search and rescue has begun and the airline has immediately setup an emergency response call center for those with questions or tips.
A summary of the scheduled route and the actual flown route is available below.
Press release made by AirAsia on Facebook:
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.
AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website, www.airasia.com.
UPDATE 1: AirAsia has confirmed that they lost contact with the plane at 07:24 via Twitter.
Update 2: No Americans were aboard QZ8501.
Update 3: Click here to view the passenger manifest, which provides a list of all passengers aboard the flight.
Update 4: President Obama has been briefed on QZ8501 according to a White House spokesperson.
Update 5: Reports suggest that the cockpit requested a new flight plan due to bad weather in the area.
UPDATES will be provided as made available.