The Wall Street Journal: AirAsia jet missing with 162 aboard
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Authorities have resumed the search for an AirAsia plane with 162 passengers and crew that went missing less than an hour after taking off from Surabaya on Sunday.
The plane, which had been bound for Singapore, lost contact with air-traffic control on an early morning flight from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, as it was climbing to a higher altitude to avoid bad weather, officials said.
“We have resumed (the search) this morning as planned,” said Tatang Zaenudin, deputy for operations at the National Search and Rescue Agency.
Indonesian officials suspended the search as the night fell Sunday, and no debris had been found 10 hours after authorities lost contact with the Airbus jet.
The search for the plane, is centered in waters around Indonesia’s Bangka island, south of Singapore. Bad visibility and high swells hampered the search Sunday, officials said. The Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics forecasts cloudy skies Monday with a light to moderate amount of rain around the area.
The missing Airbus A320-200 was operated by Indonesia AirAsia, a 49%-owned affiliate of Malaysia-based discount carrier AirAsia Bhd. AIRASIA, -7.82% , which has created a network of local franchises in the region amid its expansion over the past decade. The disappearance of Flight 8501 is the group’s first significant incident.
State-owned AirNav Indonesia, which provides air-navigation services, said the AirAsia plane took off at 5:32 a.m. local time. It said the airliner was cruising at 32,000 feet and at 6:12 a.m. the plane contacted traffic control at Jakarta’s airport to say it was moving left from the flight path and rising to 38,000 feet to avoid a cloud. At 6:16 a.m. the plane was still appearing on the radar, it said.
At 6:18 a.m. it disappeared from radar.
An expanded version of this report is available at WSJ.com