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EgyptAir plane that left Paris for Cairo disappears: What we know so far

An Egyptair plane reported missing after leaving Paris for Cairo never landed

world Updated: May 19, 2016 11:20 IST
The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen.(REUTERS)

An Egyptair plane reported missing after leaving Paris for Cairo never landed, a French airport official said on Thursday.

Read: EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo disappears from radar

Referring to flight MS804 reported missing by the Egyptian airline, the French official, asking not to be identified by name, said: “It did not land. That is all we can say for the moment.” Officials at France’s foreign ministry were looking into the matter but had no immediate information to report when contacted.

Here is what we know about the missing plane:

1.An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo carrying 66 people disappeared from radar early Thursday morning. 30 Egyptians, 15 French are among passsengers on vanished flight

2. EgyptAir Flight 804 was lost from radar at 2:45 a.m. local time when it was flying at 37,000 feet. The airline said the Airbus A320 had vanished 10 miles (16 kilometers) after it entered Egyptian airspace.

3.The Egyptian military deployed search aircraft and naval vessels to locate an EgyptAir flight , which was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two babies, and 10 crew.

4. The pilot had 6,000 flight hours. The first officer had 4,000 hours.

5. Egypt’s state-run newspaper Al-Ahram quoted an airport official as saying that the pilot did not send a distress call, and that the last contact with the plane was 10 minutes before it disappeared from radar. It did not identify the official.

6. Around 15 family members of passengers on board the missing flight have arrived at Cairo airport. Airport authorities brought doctors to the scene after several distressed family members collapsed.

7. The plane most likely crashed into the sea, Ihab Raslan, a spokesman for the Egyptian civil aviation authority, said according to a report by SkyNews Arabia. However, Raslan later told the Associated Press that it was too early to tell if the plane had crashed, and denied speaking to SkyNews Arabia.

8. Greece joined the search and rescue operation for the EgyptAir flight with two aircraft: one C-130 and one early warning aircraft, officials at the Hellenic National Defense General Staff said. They said one frigate was also heading to the area, and helicopters are on standby on the southern island of Karpathos for potential rescue or recovery operations.

9. According to, the plane’s last known position was above the Mediterranean Sea.

An EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus in March. A man who admitted to the hijacking and is described by Cypriot authorities as “psychologically unstable” is in custody in Cyprus.

10. Airbus spokesman Jacques Rocca says Thursday the company is aware of the disappearance but “we have no official information at this stage of the certitude of an accident.” The A320 is one of the most widely used Airbus planes, a single-aisle plane that usually seats about 150 people and is used for short- and medium-range flights around the world. Nearly 4,000 are in operation, according the company’s website.

11. The flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Cairo normally takes just over four hours and the plane was due to arrive at 3:05 am (0105 GMT). EgyptAir said the plane had been manufactured in 2003.

The incident renewed security concerns months after a Russian passenger plane was blown out of the sky over the Sinai Peninsula. The Russian plane crashed in Sinai on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for planting it.

In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 1990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, killing all 217 people aboard, U.S. investigators filed a final report that concluded its co-pilot switched off the autopilot and pointed the Boeing 767 downward. But Egyptian officials rejected the notion of suicide altogether, insisting some mechanical reason caused the crash.