EgyptAir plane from Paris to Cairo goes missing

An informed source at EgyptAir stated that Flight departed Paris at 23:09, has disappeared from radar.

EgyptAir plane. Picture: EgyptAir Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - National carrier EgyptAir said on Thursday a flight from Paris to Cairo had disappeared from the radar before entering Egyptian airspace.

"An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight no MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09, heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar," the airline said on its Twitter account.











An informed source at EGYPTAIR stated that Flight no MS804,which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST),heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar.





A later Tweet by EgyptAir said the plane, which was traveling at an altitude of 11,280 metres, disappeared about 130 kilometres before it was due to enter Egyptian airspace.

According to flightradar24.com, the plane was an Airbus A320 and its last known position was above the Mediterranean Sea.

CNN is reporting the plane was carrying 59 passengers and 10 crew.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry says search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the area where an egyptair flight last made contact with air traffic controllers before it disappeared from radar with 66 passengers and crew on board.

It took off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport late last night, headed for Cairo.

EgyptAir's vice chairman Ahmed Adel says the pilot is very experienced.

"The captain on the flight has 6,000 hours of flying hours, including 2,000 hours' time. There was no special cargo on the flight. The aircraft entered service in 2002."

In March, an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo was forced to land in Cyprus after a mentally unstable man hijacked it wearing a fake suicide belt.

Two years ago a Malaysian airplane, flight MH370, went missing with 239 people on board.

A piece of the wreckage believed to be that of the Malaysian airplane was found in the Mossel Bay area, earlier this year.

TOURISM DISRUPTED

A spokesman at the French foreign ministry said checks were being carried out but the ministry had no further information. The French aviation authority could not be reached immediately for comment.

With its ancient archaeological sites and Red Sea resorts, Egypt is a popular destination for Western tourists. But the industry was badly hit following the downing of a Russian jet last year, the ongoing Islamist insurgency and a string of bomb attacks in the country.

An Airbus A321 operated by Russia's Metrojet crashed in the Sinai on 31 October, 2015, killing all 224 people on board. Russia and Western governments have said the plane was likely brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive device on board.

Reuters reported in January that an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined Islamic State in Syria, is suspected of planting the bomb, according to sources familiar with the matter.

EgyptAir has a fleet of 57 Airbus and Boeing jets, including 15 of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, according to airfleets.com.

The last fatal incident involving an EgyptAir aircraft was in May 2002, when a Boeing 737 crashed into a hill while on approach to Tunis-Carthage International Airport, killing 14 people.

In October 1999, the first officer of a Boeing 767 deliberately crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 217 people on board.

Additional information by Reuters