Indonesia called off a search for an AirAsia plane with 162 people on board that went missing on Sunday until first light. The pilots had been asked to change course to avoid bad weather during the flight from Indonesia’s Surabaya city to Singapore.Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus 320-200 carrying 155 passengers and seven crew, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. (2317 GMT on Saturday).The aircraft had accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours in some 13,600 flights, according to Airbus.The pilots of QZ8501 “was requesting deviation due to en-route weather before communication with the aircraft was lost,” the airline said in a statement.the loved ones of the people on the plane became very much anxious.
The incident comes during a troubled year for Malaysia-affiliated airlines. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board and has not been found.
On July 17, Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Indonesia AirAsia has a fleet of 30 Airbus A320s. The missing plane has been in service for just over six years, according to airfleets.net.
All AirAsia-branded airlines operate aircraft made by Airbus, which has orders for several hundred planes from the group. AirAsia is considered one of the European planemaker’s most important customers.