AirAsia says search operation underway for missing flight QZ8501

AirAsia says search operation underway for missing flight QZ8501

AirAsia flight QZ8501 with 161 people on board lost contact with air traffic control en route from Indonesia to Singapore Sunday morning, an official said.

"The AirAsia flight flying from Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with Jakarta at 7:55am (local time)," transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata told AFP.

The Airbus plane left Juanda international airport in Surabaya in east Java at 5:20am and was expected to arrive in Singapore at 8:30am (0030 GMT).

The plane was carrying six crew and 155 passengers -- 138 adults, 16 children and a baby, Barata said.

AirAsia says search operation underway for missing plane

Malaysian airline AirAsia said a search and rescue operation was underway Sunday for flight QZ8501.

"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 airline said.

The missing plane was an Airbus A320-200, it said.

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