The PJ Tatler

AirAsia Flight Missing en Route from Indonesia to Singapore

An AirAsia flight went missing this morning over the Java Sea en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

The latest statement from AirAsia:

AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 (Surabaya LT) this morning. The flight took off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 0535hours.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board.

The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours

There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.

Nationalities of passengers and crew onboard are as below:

1 Singapore

1 Malaysia

1 France

3 South Korean

156 Indonesia

At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.

The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC).

The aircraft had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.

Thunderstorms were reported in the area. The pilot reportedly asked for a flight route diversion before contact was lost.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Obama, out to dinner with friends in Hawaii, “has been briefed on AirAsia Flight 8501 and White House officials will continue to monitor the situation.”

The missing aircraft comes just a few days after al-Qaeda released a new Inspire magazine issue containing an extensive picture tutorial for building a “hidden bomb” to breach airport security.