AirAsia Jet with 162 Aboard Goes Missing on Indonesia-Singapore Flight
An AirAsia passenger jet with 162 people aboard lost contact over the Java Sea while en route to Singapore on Sunday and is missing, according to airline officials.
The plane was flying from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when the pilots asked the air traffic control to change course to avoid an area of bad weather. According to Indonesian transportation officials, the jet, an Airbus 320-200, was about two hours into the flight when the pilots asked permission to change course and go higher.
Then communication with Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was lost. According to a senior official at Indonesia's transport ministry, no distress signal had been sent by Flight QZ8501.
Indonesia AirAsia is 49% owned by Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia, with local investors holding the remainder. The AirAsia group also has affiliates in Thailand, the Philippines and India.
The airline said in a statement there were 155 passengers and seven crew on board. 156 were Indonesian, with three from South Korea and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France.
The distance between Surabaya and Singapore is about 1,400 km. Indonesian military planes are searching an area of the Java Sea. The Singapore air force and the navy also were activated with two C-130 planes.
AirAsia has never lost a plane but Malaysia's national carrier Malaysia Airlines has suffered two this year - Flight MH370 and Flight MH17.
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