JAKARTA, Indonesia — An AirAsia plane with 161 people aboard lost contact with ground control on Sunday after takeoff from Indonesia on the way to Singapore, and search and rescue operations were underway.
AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact at 07:24hrs this morning http://t.co/WomRQuzcPO
— AirAsia (@AirAsia) December 28, 2014
The plane lost communication with Jakarta’s air traffic control at 7:24 a.m., about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore, the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. The contact was lost about 42 minutes after takeoff from Indonesia’s Surabaya airport, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia’s MetroTV.
AirAsia said in a statement that the plane was an Airbus A320-200 and that search and rescue operations were in progress.
The plane had six crew and 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, the general manager of Surabaya’s Juanda airport, Trikora Raharjo, told The Associated Press.
There were six foreigners — three South Koreans including an infant and one each from Singapore, British and Malaysia, said Raharjo. The rest were Indonesians, he said.
The plane lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands, Mustofa said.
He said the weather in the area was cloudy.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 28, 2014
The Singapore aviation authority said it was informed about the missing plane by Jakarta ground control about half an hour after the contact was lost.
“Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities,” it said, adding that the Singapore air force and the navy also were activated with two C-130 planes.
AirAsia released the following statement:
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, http://www.airasia.com.