EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo, with 66 people on board, disappears from radar

Cairo: An EgyptAir flight with 66 people on board heading from Paris to Cairo disappeared from the radar on Thursday, the airline said. Earlier reports put the total number of people on board at 69.


Representational pic/AFP

The aircraft was flying at 37,000ft when it went missing over the eastern Mediterranean, about 10 miles (16 km) into the Egyptian air space. 

In a statement on its website, Charles de Gaulle Airport said the aircraft left Paris at 11.09 p.m. and was expected to land in Cairo at 3.15 a.m, CNN reported.

The 56 passengers were 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, two Iraqis, and one each from Britain, Belgium, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Al Jazeera reported citing the airline as saying.

The plane was flying at 37,000 ft when it disappeared 16 km after entering Egyptian airspace.

Egypt and Greece have launched maritime searches for the missing flight, the Egyptian army said.

The French government will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the plane’s disappearance, French President Francois Hollande's office has said.

"The President talked to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight between Paris and Cairo. They agreed to cooperate closely to establish the circumstances of the disappearance as soon as possible," said a press release from the Elysee Palace.

Aviation experts said the plane probably lost contact with ground radar above the Mediterranean Sea.

"Apparently it was just short of Egyptian airspace, so it was likely over the Mediterranean, because the Greek airspace joins the Egyptian airspace around that area," aviation safety consultant Keith Mackey told Al Jazeera, adding "So that is probably where they will be looking."

Conditions were clear and calm when the plane crossed over the Mediterranean Sea, weather analysts said.

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