Update [30/12/2014 20:30 AEST]: Officials believe they have found debris in the Java Sea off the island of Borneo that match that of the missing airline.
A search plane scouring the area believes to have seen the shadow of a plane in the ~40m deep waters, closely followed by an emergency exit door and potential human debris.
This spotting marks the first sighting of the missing QZ8501 flight, which went missing on Sunday morning Australian time while flying from Indonesia to Singapore. The 166 passengers and crew on board are feared dead.
Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted earlier today:
“My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501,” AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted. “On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”
He said he was on his way to Surabaya.
YouTravel will update you with more details as they come to hand.
Update [28/12/2014 20:30 AEST]: AirAsia has confirmed via its Facebook page that the pilot of the plane had over 6,100 flying hours and the first officer an equally impressive 2,275 hours flying time. AirAsia has also confirmed that there were 155 passengers on board the plane, with 156 of these being Indonesian, 3 from South Korea, 1 each from France, Malaysia and Singapore.
Further, AirAsia has said on its Facebook page:
“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.
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.”
Original Story: An AirAsia flight that left Indonesia for Singapore on Sunday at 5:35AM local time has gone missing, with Indonesian authorities reporting that the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after requesting an unusual route to its destination.
A search and rescue operation is currently underway to locate the Airbus A320-200 with registration PK-AXC, which was carrying 138 adults, 16 children, one baby and seven crew. It is our understanding that there were no Australians on board the flight.
The flight, which normally takes 2 hours and 55 minutes is a common route for the airline, flying every two days from the Indonesian town of Surabaya to Singapore.
In a post on its Facebook page, AirAsia confirmed everyone’s fears that the plane is indeed missing.
“AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning,” 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.”
“At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service,” the airline said.
“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.”
YouTravel will keep you posted as more information comes to hand.