Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Faces of MH370

Teenage lovers starting school in Beijing. A couple with young children waiting at home. Grandparents on vacation with their friends.

The fate of 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 remains unknown, as the search for the missing aircraft continues. We look at the faces of MH370, and their stories.

Two-year-old's overseas outing

It was possibly the first overseas trip for Wang Moheng, who is just shy of his second birthday. He was on a family vacation to Malaysia with his parents and grandparents to escape Beijing's smoggy skies.

"They said to other parents at our day-care centre: 'We're getting away from the bad air in Beijing for a while'," Ms Xie Yongzhen, whose son has been a playmate of Moheng, told The New York Times.

Mr Wang Rui, Moheng's father, worked in the Beijing office of Boston Consulting Group, an American company. The boy's mother, Ms Jiao Weiwei, worked at a Chinese software company. Her parents were also on the plane.

Other families from the day-care centre had joined the Wangs on the trip, but returned on different flights, said Ms Xie.

Their parting words to Moheng's family in Kuala Lumpur: "See you in smoggy Beijing."

Teenage lovers heading to school

French teenagers Hadrien Wattrelos, 17, and Zhao Yan, 18, were heading for school in Beijing. They had enrolled themselves in the Lycee Francais International de Pekin, also known as the French School, said reports.

A photograph of the teenage couple was posted on Wattrelo's college page on July 29, 2013, accompanied by the words "Je t'aime" ("I love you"). Zhao responded: "Haaaaaa mon amour, trooooop mignon" ("Ha my love, too cute").

Two other passengers on the flight, Laurence Wattrelos, 52, and Ambre Wattrelos, 14, were believed to be Wattrelos' mother and sister.

Couple on vacation

Malaysian couple Norliakmar Hamid, 33, and Razahan Zamani, 24, were on their way to Beijing for a holiday to celebrate their two-year wedding anniversary.

Ms Norliakmar's brother, Mr Mohd Lokman Hamid, 31, said he learnt that the couple were on the flight from her Facebook status posted late last Friday. He told Malaysia's Bernama news agency: "I know they had been planning to go to Beijing for a holiday, especially after she suffered a miscarriage.

"I just hope that my sister and brother-in-law, as well as other passengers on board the aircraft, are safe."

Young parents on a romantic getaway

Canadians Bai Xiaomo, 37, and Muktesh Mukherjee, 42, were heading back to Beijing after a romantic beach getaway to Vietnam.

The couple, who have two young children who were not on the flight, have been living in Beijing where Ms Bai studied at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Mr Mukherjee is listed as vice-president of China operations for Xcoal Energy and Resources, a position he had held since May 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"Still adjusting to life in the Middle Kingdom", said a message on his Twitter page. Indian newspaper The Telegraph identified him as a grandson of former steel and mines minister Mohan Kumaramangalam, who served in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet.

The couple took frequent beach vacations in South-east Asia, often with their two sons. The younger one, Miles, turns three years old in May, reported the New York Times. Ms Bai's Facebook page has photographs of the boys playing in the snow outside their apartment last month. She wrote: "The first snowfall of this winter!!!" The boys lie outside smiling. They are making snow angels."

Doting grandparents who love travelling

Two Australian couples, Catherine and Robert Lawton and Rodney and Mary Burrows, from Brisbane, had been travelling on the flight together.

"Dad phoned this morning and said 'Bobby's plane's missing',"' Mr Lawton's brother David told Australian paper, The Courier-Mail. "I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. We just want to know where it is, where the plane's come down, if there's anything left."

The brother's wife Rhonda said: "Cathy's last comment on Facebook was 'Off to China'."

According to friends, the Lawtons were kindly neighbours and doting grandparents who enjoyed travelling. Similar things were being said of the Burrows.

Mr Burrows' friends said he planned the Beijing trip after he was retrenched from his job. Ms Mandy Watt, a neighbour of the Burrows, said: "This was their time, they were all about the kids. The kids had moved on… they're all successful, all happy. This was their time."

Young diplomat who was supposed to set off earlier

Mr Mohamad Sofuan Ismail, 33, a diplomatic officer with Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, was heading to Beijing to start a three-year stint. He was supposed to leave for the Chinese capital last month, but the move was postponed to last Friday. His father, Mr Ibrahim Abdul Razak, 75, said he regretted his son's decision to accept the posting. "I can't do anything now but pray," he said.

Engineer starting his dream job

Mechanical engineer Paul Weeks, 39, was travelling en route to Mongolia for his first shift as part of a fly-in-fly-out job for a mining and construction company, a job he was excited about.

Originally from New Zealand, he lives in Perth's north-eastern suburbs with his wife and their two young sons, aged three years old and 10 months.

"I'm taking it minute by minute," his wife Danica told reporters in Perth. "I can't think beyond the minute. I've got two young kids, and I have a three-year-old asking, 'When is daddy going to Skype?'"

IBM employee who followed his father's footsteps

Mr Philip Wood, 50, was the only American adult on board MH370. The other two Americans were children.

The IBM employee was living in Kuala Lumpur, where the flight originated. Mr Woods, who previously lived in Beijing, has two sons in Texas. He had followed the footsteps of his father Aubrey Wood by joining IBM.

"We're all sticking together," his father told The New York Times. "What can you do? What can you say?"

Father's pride and joy

Petronas marketing manager Puspanathan Subramaniam, 34, travelled frequently for work. But when he was about to set off to Beijing on a business trip last Friday, his children cried and asked him not to go.

"My grandchildren acted weirdly and did not want my son to leave the house," his father Subramaniam Gurusamy, 59, told the New Straits Times.

He said two of his grandchildren hugged his son's legs and cried, not wanting their father to leave the house. "He nearly cancelled his flight but I told him to go ahead," he said, adding that the family had to rush to the airport because they were running late. "How I wish we did not make it and he missed the flight."

His final words to his father before boarding MH370: "I'll be back in a week. Then we can cut cake together for sister's birthday, appa (father in Tamil)."

Pilot who built flight simulator at home

Mr Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, captain of MH370, enjoyed flying the Boeing 777 so much that he spent his days off tinkering with a flight simulator of the plane that he had set up at home.

He had always wanted to become a pilot and joined the national carrier in 1981.

"He was an aviation tech geek. You could ask him anything and he would help you. That is the kind of guy he is," a Malaysia Airlines co-pilot, who had flown with him in the past, told Reuters.

Another pilot who knew Mr Zaharie for 20 years added: "We used to tease him. We would ask him, why are you bringing your work home."

His passion for aviation went beyond the Boeing 777. Other photos posted by him on Facebook showed he was an avid collector of remote-controlled miniature aircraft, including a lightweight twin-engined helicopter.

The big brother in the family

Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, was a dear big brother at home, said his younger brother Afiq, 20, who was still trying to come to terms with the news.

"This is just heartbreaking," Mr Afiq told Malaysian newspaper New Sunday Times. "I do not know what to tell you. I am not doing okay."

Mr Afiq described his brother, the eldest of five siblings, as responsible, kind and warm. He was still hoping for the best for his brother, a Langkawi Aerospace Flying Academy graduate. But as the situation grew grimmer on Sunday night, he tweeted: "I'm coming to find you, even if it takes all night."

Crew on the ill-fated flight

A collage of the 12 crew members of MH370 - with the message "Please come back", which made its rounds online.

Come home, daddy

A short but heart-breaking message from the daughter of a crew member of MH370. Some have identified the crew member as chief steward Andrew Nari, who is a fan of classic rock bands like Pink Floyd and Dire Straits.