An AirAsia flight carrying 162 people from Indonesia to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic controllers.

Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said flight QZ 8501 lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 7.24am local time.

He said the plane had asked for an unusual route before contact was lost with Indonesia’s Juanda International Airport in Surabaya.

The flight was expected to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am.

Officials confirmed the plane had seven crew and 155 passengers on board.

Local media reported there were 149 Indonesians, three Koreans, one Singaporean, one Briton and one Malaysian national on the plane.

Transport Ministry spokesman JA Barata said the passengers included 138 adults, 16 children and one infant.

According to air traffic control website Flight Radar, the aircraft was travelling at 32,000 ft over the Java Sea when contact was lost.

A statement on Malaysia based AirAsia’s Facebook page said: “AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ 8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 0724hrs 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 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.”

The airline has set up an emergency call centre for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft… see more

source: skynews