Air Asia has confirmed that it lost contact with flight QZ8501 which was on its way to Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia. The plane was carrying 162 people: 155 passengers, 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.
AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning.
The airline said that the missing plane requested to deviate from its flight plan before it lost contact:
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
Indonesian authorities are focusing on the Bangka Belitung islands off the east coast of South Sumatra to find the missing plane.
Here are other updates from the Twitter hashtag #QZ8501
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) December 28, 2014
— The Straits Times (@STcom) December 28, 2014
— Kata Bijak & Nasihat (@NasihatSahabat) December 28, 2014
Malaysia Airlines, which lost two planes this year, also expressed its solidarity to Air Asia:
— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) December 28, 2014
The prime minister of Singapore said his country will assist in locating the plane:
— Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) December 28, 2014
The head of Air Asia thanked all those who showed support for the missing flight QZ8501:
On my way to Surabaya where most of the passangers are from as with my Indonesian management. Providing information as we get it.
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) December 28, 2014
Air Asia is a popular budget airline in Southeast Asia. It started operations in 1996 and has not yet experienced any fatal air crash.