A plane has gone missing when flying between Indonesia and Singapore. Flight QA8501 is believed to be carrying more than 150 people.
The Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24am local time (00.24 GMT), around two hours after it had taken off.
The airline said 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, and seven crew, were on the flight. The pilot had asked for permission to fly higher to avoid clouds shortly before the plane disappeared. The plane was last seen between the Indonesian island of Belitung, and Pontianak in Borneo. There was bad weather over Belitung at the time.
AirAsia said in a statement 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 co-operating 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).’
AFP reports that the search for missing flight QZ 8501 has been suspended for the night, citing an Indonesian minister