Air Asia plane en route to Singapore declared missing

Indonesia's Air Asia has declared an Airbus 320-200 missing. Officials say that Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, lost contact with the Jakarta Air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. (6.17 p.m. EST)

The plane carrying 162 people went missing on Sunday after the pilots asked to change course to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

According to Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at Indonesia's transport ministry, "No distress signal had been sent"

Indonesia AirAsia said there were 155 passengers and seven crew on board. It said 156 were Indonesian, with three from South Korea and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France.

The incident comes at the end of a disastrous year for the region's airlines. Malaysia's national flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines, lost two aircraft this year; Flight MH370 on March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board and Flight MH17 on July 17, shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Search is still underway.

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