AirAsia Indonesia confirm that flight QZ8501 has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 am

UPDATE: Malaysia is sending vessels and a C130 aircraft while Singapore is also sending a C130, officials said, as cited by Reuters.

No wreckage of flight QZ5801 has been found, an Indonesian Navy official told the BBC. He added weather conditions were poor in the search area.

AirAsia flight QZ8501 left the Indonesian city of Surabaya for Singapore at 5.35am local time on Sunday morning. It lost contact with air traffic control at 7.24am. 

Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office.

There were 162 people on board - 155 passengers, and 7 crew members. On board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.

The pilot had asked for permission to fly higher to avoid clouds shortly before the plane disappeared.

AirAsia flight QZ8501 was last seen between the Indonesian island of Belitung, and Pontianak in Borneo. There was bad weather over Belitung at the time.


AirAsia flight QZ8501 Nationalities of passengers and crew onboard are as below:
  • 1 Singapore
  • 1 Malaysia
  • 3 South Korean
  • 157 Indonesia
AirAsia has set up an emergency line for family or friends of those who may be on board. The number is +622 129 850 801.

AirAsia, a budget airline, has never lost a plane, but Malaysia's national carrier Malaysia Airlines has suffered two this year - flights MH370 and MH17.

The AirAsia plane disappeared about two hours into a three-hour flight.

There is absolutely no evidence that Air Asia or any other low-cost airline has done anything to compromise safety.

Until now, Air Asia - like many other budget carriers - has had a faultless safety record.

The A320 model first flew in 1987 and has sold very well since then, with easyJet and British Airways among the airlines that use it. The jet has a formidably good safety record