With files from Tessa Vikander
Egypt Air officials say flight MS804 has crashed.
It’s also confirmed there was one Canadian passenger aboard the flight from Paris to Cairo.
The airline says Flight no MS804 which departed from Paris at about 11:09 this evening, disappeared around 2:45 a.m., Cairo time.
EgyptAir says there were passengers from 12 countries aboard the missing flight
According to Flight Stats, the airplane was supposed to land 3:15 a.m.
A second tweet, written in Arabic says that the plane was last tracked at at an altitude of 37,000 feet and disappeared about 16 kilometres after entering Egyptian airspace.
The Airline says it has informed all relevant authorities and a search and rescue mission is under way. EgyptAir reports the plane was made in 2003 and members of the Egyptian armed forces have been mobilized as part of search efforts.
The airline says the pilot has 6,275 hours of flying time and the co-pilot has 2,766 hours.
In speaking to CNN, vice chair Ahmed Abdel said no special cargo or dangerous goods were on the flight.
Another tweet from EgyptAir says the Airbus A320-232 departed with 69 people aboard, 59 passengers and 10 crew. However, Abdel corrected that number during the CNN interview and said there were 56 passengers, 3 security personnel, 2 cockpit crew and 5 cabin crew.
David Soucie, aviation safety analyst said in talking to CNN that it struck him as odd that the airline had planned to fly a Boeing 737 but swapped the plane out for an A 320.
In an interview with CNN, Mary Schiavo from the U.S. Department of Transportation said the route is heavily traveled and although it’s an unusually long time to not hear from a flight’s crew, it is possible that they will regain communication.
“It is of course possible there were some communication errors…but it’s starting to be a pretty long time for it not to reappear or for them not to have made some type of communication attempt. It’s just very difficult to guess where it might be or why it’s not communicated. Of course there have been other incidents in the past where pilots have been out of communication for some time…and they have been located and found.”
The Associated Press reports that in March an EgyptAir flight was highjacked and diverted to Cyprus. The highjacker was later labelled by authorities as “psychologically unstable” and is reported to be in custody in Cyprus.
In 1999 the airline lost an aircraft in a crash but the reason behind the accident is disputed, reports the Associated Press. The U.S. investigation concluded the co-pilot turned off autopilot and pointed the Boeing 767 downward into the ocean. The plane crashed into the Atlantic near Massachusetts island off Nantucket and killed all 217 people aboard. Associated Press also reports that Egyptian officials rejected the idea of the crash being a suicide and insisted it was due to mechanical reasons.