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Indonesia ground services lost contact with AirAsia plane

December 28, 2014, 7:24 updated at: December 28, 2014, 10:32 UTC+3 SINGAPORE
There were 162 people onboard
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SINGAPORE, December 28. /TASS/. The contact was lost with AirAsia jet disappearing from radars of ground services when, the airliner was in the Indonesian flight information region, an official of Indonesian civil aviation authority said on Sunday.

AirAsia Airline has earlier confirmed its jet disappearance.

At the present moment AirAsia unfortunately does not have additional information about the fate of passengers and crewmembers, but they will report it as long as they are receiving it, the company said. The search for jet Airbus A320-200 with registration code PK-AXC was launched. The air carrier also reported about the opening of a hotline for relatives of passengers and crewmembers.

The Singaporean rescue coordination centre backed by Air Force and Navy of the country is ready to help Indonesian authorities in the search operation for the lost jet, a public relations official of Indonesian civil aviation authority told TASS on Sunday.

Two military transport planes C-130 Hercules are on standby to fly to the rescue operation area. Meanwhile, they are ready to give any assistance in the rescue operation, the public relations official said. The domestic civil aviation authority jointly with the Singaporean airport are keeping in contact with an anti-crisis group of the Malaysian airline, she said.

Different reports are coming about the number of people on board the jet. The airliner was carrying 155, official of Indonesian Transport Ministry Hadi Mustofa said. Several media reported about 162 passengers and crewmembers. Three South Koreans, a Singaporean, a Malaysian, a Briton and others - Indonesian citizens were aboard the jet, the electronic version of the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Indonesian air controllers failed to get in contact with the jet at 6.17am local time (11.17pm GMT on Saturday), when the plane was flying between Kalimantan (Borneo), the third largest island in the world, and Belitung, an island on the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the Java Sea. According to the schedule, jet on QZ8501 flight was to arrive at Singaporean airport Changi at 8.30am local time (00.30 GMT).

AirAsia Airline was established in 2001. The air carrier makes flights on 192 domestic and international routes to 20 countries. From 2009 to 2014 an authoritative British consulting company Skytrax found AirAsia as the best low-cost air company in the world.

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