AirAsia has confirmed that flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control soon after take-off 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 statement read.
16 children and one infant are believed to be on board the missing commercial carrier, the general manager of Surabaya’s Juanda airport, Trikora Raharjo said.
Local weather is reportedly cloudy, and the plane is believed to have requested an unusual route before it went missing. Experts believe this has to do with the aircraft trying to navigate around the poor weather conditions.
AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre for family and friends: the number is +622129850801.