Indonesian authorities have suspended the search for the AirAsia plane which went missing while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.
The search was halted at 5:30 p.m. Indonesian time as night fell and would continue at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, Hadi Mustofan, a transport ministry official, was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying.
The Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people went missing at about an hour after leaving Surabaya at 5:20 a.m. on Sunday.
The airline earlier released information about the 162 passengers and crew on board Flight QZ8501, which lost contact with the air traffic control on Sunday.
The Malaysia-based budget airline said in a statement that there were two pilots; four flight attendants and one engineer on board the Airbus A320-200 aircraft with the registration number of PK-AXC.
“The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours,’’ it added.
According to to the statement, 155 passengers, including 138 adults, 16 children and one infant, were aboard.
It said that the passengers and crew members included one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, three South Koreans, and 156 Indonesians.
Report says search and rescue operations were being conducted under the guidance of the Indonesia Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
“The aircraft, which was flying from Indonesia’s Surabaya to Singapore, was requesting deviation due to enroute weather.
“However, communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC.
“The plane had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on November 16,’’ it noted.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, said the Malaysian government would assist AirAsia to help find the missing passenger plane.
“I have not received much information at this time and I can only confirm that the plane is missing.
“The government will help AirAsia to find the missing plane,’’ Mr. Razak told journalists in Lipis, Pahang.