AirAsia flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people goes missing in Southeast Asia; India puts 3 ships, plane on standby

New Delhi: An AirAsia flight carrying 155 people from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday, officials in the region and the budget carrier said.

AirAsia confirmed its flight had lost contact with air traffic control and said a search-and-rescue operation had been launched. In a statement AirAsia said, ” There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.”

Flight QZ 8501, an Airbus 320-200, lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 6:17 am. Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There was no Indian nationals on board. The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5.20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30 am.

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,” the airline said in a statement.

No distress signal had been sent, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry.

Soon after the flight goes missing, AirAsia changed the colour of its social media logo from red to grey.

Latest Updates:

Indonesia ministry has released a list of all passengers on board 

To read:

16:21 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

India has put on standby three ships and a maritime surveillance aircraft for assistance in the search operation after an AirAsia flight with 162 people on board today went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore after losing contact with air traffic controllers. Indian Navy sources said one ship in Bay of Bengal and another two in Andaman Sea have been put on standby. Along with these, a P-8I aircraft has also been put on standby. The aircraft is used for maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations.

15:00 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes on his way to Surabaya

Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted, “On my way to Surabaya where most of the passangers are from as with my Indonesian management. Providing information as we get it.”

He further tweeted, “My only thought are with the passangers and my crew. We put our hope in the SAR operation and thank the Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysian governments.”

13:45 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014
People related to passengers at Changi Airport
People related to passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 arrive at a holding area for next-of-kins and relatives at Changi Airport in Singapore.

An Indonesian woman at Singapore’s Changi Airport said her sister and other family members, including two children, were on board. “No one has told us anything. We heard the news and came to the airport,” the woman said before entering a cordoned-off area.


12:34 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

Malaysia on Sunday offered help in the search of missing AirAsia flight which lost contact with air traffic controllers between Singapore and Indonesia this morning.

Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak said he had not been fully briefed on the aircraft’s disappearance, but acknowledged that the country may be facing its third aviation disaster in the year, after the loss of two Malaysia Airlines aircraft in March and July.

11:49 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

AirAsia issues fresh statement

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board.
The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours
There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.
Nationalities of passengers and crew onboard are as below:

1 Singapore | 1 Malaysia | 1 France | 3 South Korean | 156 Indonesia
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.

12:35 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes has asked his company to stay strong.

“Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong,” tweeted Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries.

11:25 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

Indonesian media reports say an aircraft crashed east of Belitungs Island

According to Indonesian media an aircraft crashed east of Belitungs Island. However there is no confirmation on it. Search planes are on the way to the last known position of Air Asia. Indonesian Air Force has dispatched a 737-200MPA to search for #QZ8501.

11:15 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

Singapore activates air force, navy for search for missing jet

Singapore said on Sunday it has activated its air force and navy to help in the search and rescue operation for the AirAsia jet that went missing on a flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.  “Two C130s are already on stand-by for this purpose. We remain ready to provide any assistance to support the search and rescue effort,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

A waiting area, and facilities and support have been set up for relatives at Changi Airport Terminal 2, it said.

11:11 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

Lost airasia flight went missing between tanjung pandan and pontianak

An Indonesia AirAsia flight went missing on Sunday about half way between its origin of Surabaya in Indonesia and its destination of Singapore, an Indonesian transport official said.

The aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing, Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Transport Ministry, told a news conference. The aircraft had been flying at 32,000 feet and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid clouds, he said.

This is an estimated position of #QZ8501 at 23:18 UTC when AirNav Indonesia say they lost radar contact 

10:00 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

The Airbus 320-200 had 155 passengers and crew on board consisting of 149 Indonesians, 3 Koreans 1 Singaporean, 1 Briton and one Malaysian passenger on Board.

9:35 ISTSunday, 28 December 2014

AirAsia confirms on Facebook page

In a statement issued by AirAsia on their Facebook page airlines said, ” AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning. 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 statement further added, ” The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service. 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.”

The flight had been due in Singapore at 8:30 am Singapore time (0030 GMT). The Singapore airport said on its website the status of the flight was “delayed”.

The incident comes at the end of a disastrous year for Malaysia’s airlines.

National flag carrier Malaysia Airlines lost two aircraft this year.

Its flight MH370 went missing on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

On July 17, Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.