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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 10:11 AM | 29-12-2014

Search continues for missing AirAsia plane

The search and locate (SAL) operation for a missing AirAsia Indonesia flight entered its second day on Monday (29 Dec 2014) with closest neighbours Malaysia and Singapore offering immediate assistance, according to the Bernama news agency.

The operation was halted on Sunday evening due to darkness and bad weather.

Flight QZ8501, with 162 people on board, took off at 5.20 a.m. on Sunday from Surabaya, Indonesia, and was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30 a.m. It last contacted the Air Traffic Control at 6.12 a.m. Indonesian time (7.12 a.m. Malaysian time).

Singapore has deployed two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 aircraft and several Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) vessels for the SAL operation. Three Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) ships were deployed on Sunday night to join the search.

On board the missing flight are 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, a Singaporean, a Malaysian, a Briton and a French.

According to Airbus, the missing A320-200 is a twin-engine single-aisle aircraft seating up to 180 passengers in a single-class configuration.

It was registered as PK-AXC and was delivered to AirAsia from the production line in October 2008. Powered by CFM 56-5B engines, it had accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours in some 13,600 flights.

Airbus said it would provide full assistance to authorities in charge of the investigation.

Meanwhile, AirAsia’s stock tumbled on Monday as the markets opened, reflecting shaky investor confidence off the back of the missing flight.

The incident caps a disastrous year for Malaysia-affiliated airlines, with Indonesia AirAsia 49 per cent owned by Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew and has not been found. On July 17, the same airline’s Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

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 at www.airasia.com.

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