AirAsia Plane Loses Contact With Air Traffic Control In Indonesia
The search is on for AirAsia Flight 8501, which lost contact with air traffic control in Indonesia, the airline said Sunday.
Flight QZ 8501 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. Sunday (7:24 p.m. Saturday ET), AirAsia said
“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,” AirAsia said in a statement.
The plane took off with 155 passengers and crew on board, the news agency Reuters reported, citing Indonesian transport officials.
The flight, an Airbus A320-200, was on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, according to the airline's website.
The plane left Juanda International Airport at 5:27 a.m. Sunday (5:27 p.m. Saturday ET) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 8:37 a.m. Sunday (7:37 p.m. ET), according to the website.
Bad weather might have been a factor in the plane's disappearance, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.
“We still had lines of very heavy thunderstorms” when the plane was flying, Van Dam said. “But keep in mind, turbulence doesn't necessarily bring down airplanes.”
AirAsia is a Malaysia-based airline that is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.
The airline has a “very good” reputation for safety, CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest said.
The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which dropped off radar over Southeast Asia on March 8.
Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight 370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.