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Aviation: Missing AirAsia flight carrying 162 people requested deviation due to bad weather

UPDATED 6:44pm — An Airbus A320-200 has gone missing after losing contact with Jakarta Air Traffic Control (ATC) in recent hours, prompting AirAsia to set up a crisis centre.

Flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore lost contact with ATC at 7:24am local time today (Sunday).

A short time ago AirAsia confirmed that a request was made by the pilot to ATC to avoid adverse weather. says there were large severe thunderstorms and rain bands around Singapore and Indonesia and the Java Sea earlier this morning – directly along the flight path. The plane was reportedly flying at 32,000 feet while severe thunderstorms can tower into the 60,000 feet range.

It’s normal for a pilot to request tracking around severe weather – but it’s unclear as to why the tracking was considered “unusual” – as reported by media earlier this afternoon.

There are no reports of New Zealanders or Australians onboard.

Indonesia TV reports most passengers are Indonesian, 3 Koreans, 1 passenger from Singapore, 1 passenger from the UK and 1 from Malaysia.

More news updates as we get them. 

Here’s the most recent statement from the airline (issued around 6:30pm Sunday NZT):

“AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 (Surabaya LT) this morning. The flight took off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 0535hours.

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.

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. 

AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website,”




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