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Live Reporting

By Mohamed Madi, Sarah Fowler, Julia Macfarlane and Heather Chen

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    This wraps up our coverage of the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501. The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers between Indonesia and Singapore with 162 people on board.

    You can continue to follow the story on the BBC News website and read further updates as the search operation resumes in the early hours of the morning.

  2. Post update

    The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it is monitoring the search for the missing AirAsia jet and stands "ready to assist the Indonesians if needed", Reuters reports.

  3. Post update

    The search operation is due to resume as soon as weather conditions permit, most likely around 07:00 in the morning local time (00:00 GMT).

    It is concentrating on an area of sea between Kalimantan, Borneo, and Java, Indonesia. Indonesian officials say that so far, no wreckage has been found.

    Two members from the Indonesian Navy's Tactical Commanding Operator (TACCO) help with the search for AirAsia flight QZ 8501 on board a CN235 aircraft over Karimun Java in the Java Sea on 28 December 2014
  4. Post update

    Family members face an agonising wait, with the search called off until first light - rescue ships and aircraft may not set off again for at least another nine hours.

    Family members of passengers onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 react at a waiting area in Juanda International Airport, Surabaya on 28 December 2014.
  5. Search and rescue operation

    Indonesia has accepted an offer from Singapore to launch four naval ships to join the search for the plane, Channel News Asia reports, quoting Singapore's Second Defence Minister Chan Chun Sing.

    A C130 plane from Singapore has already been deployed in the search. Australia has also offered to assist with the rescue operation.

  6. 'Flawless' safety record

    Until Sunday, AirAsia and its regional affiliates had enjoyed a clean safety record with no fatal accidents involving their planes, Gaurav Raghuvanshi writes in the Washington Post, quoting aviation experts.

    It did, however, have a number of "runway excursions" - when an aircraft skids off the runway or tarmac - he says.

  7. Post update

    Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has told reporters that it is likely that the plane has encountered "an accident".

    "For more than 10 hours of search now, there's a high possibility that an accident has happened (to the plane)," he told reporters at the National Search and Rescue Agency office in Jakarta.

  8. Post update

    Who is the man behind AirAsia? The BBC's Sharanjit Leyl profiles Tony Fernandes, a man who many see as Malaysia's answer to Richard Branson.

  9. Missed flight

    Ari Putro Cahyono, a resident of Surabaya, says he would have been on flight QZ8501 alongside nine of his relatives had it not been for a change in flight schedule, the website reports.

    He said he had "mixed feelings" after failing to read an email notifying him that the departure time had been brought forward by two hours, causing him and his family to miss the flight.

  10. Post update

    Alice Budisatrijo, BBC News, Surabaya

    A few hours ago many of the relatives at the crisis centre in the airport still seemed calm - glued to their phones, perhaps trying to find any news of the plane or stay in touch with friends and loved ones.

    But more than 12 hours since the plane took off they are looking increasingly worried. Officials still have no idea what happened to the aircraft.

  11. AirAsia CEO comments

    AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes has just given a press conference in Surabaya where he said that there was very little that he knew about the plane's whereabouts.

    "Our concern right now is for the relatives and next-of-kin. There is nothing more important now than our crews' families and passengers' families, and we'll look after them," he said.

    AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandez speaks at a news conference at the Juanda International Airport, Surabaya on 28 December 2014.
  12. Post update

    AirAsia has changed the colour of the logo on its website from red to grey. It has also set up a "crisis" page with information on the missing plane.

    AirAsia website
  13. Pope prays for passengers

    Pope Francis says his thoughts and prayers are with the passengers of flight QZ8501, as well as the 478 passengers of the Italian ferry that is on fire off the coast of Corfu.

    "I am sending prayers and love to their relatives and to people who are suffering in these difficult situations, as well as those who are working on the rescue operations," he said, speaking from the Vatican.

  14. Post update

    Anxious relatives await news of their loved ones at Indonesia's Juanda Airport, in Surabaya, more than 13 hours after the flight disappeared.

    Family members of passengers on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 wait for information inside the AirAsia crisis centre at Juanda Airport in Surabaya, East Java on 28 December 2014
  15. Post update

    Of the relatives who gathered at Singapore's Changi Airport on Sunday, 16 have taken up the offer to fly to Surabaya, Indonesia, airport officials say. The rest have either gone home or retired to a hotel.

  16. Post update

    Another AirAsia flight reportedly turned back 10 minutes after take-off earlier today because of technical problems, the Straits Times reports. The domestic flight from Penang to Langkawi in Malaysia was later rescheduled and landed safely in Langkawi later on Sunday.

  17. Post update

    The Indonesian pilot of flight QZ8501 had clocked up a total of 6,100 hours of flying time, while his French first officer had a total of 2,275 flying hours, an earlier AirAsia statement said.

  18. Post update

    All the next-of-kin have now left the relatives' holding area for the night, says the spokesman for Singapore's Changi Airport, Ivan Tan. They have been waiting for news of their relatives for over 13 hours. AirAsia earlier said it was providing assistance to waiting family members.

  19. Beacon detectors

    The Straits Times

    tweets: Singapore's Air Accident Investigation Bureau has offered specialists & underwater locator beacon detectors to assist with search of #QZ8501

  20. Pictures of the missing aircraft (2012)

    These pictures by show the actual Airbus A320-200 aircraft that has gone missing. The photographs were taken in 2012.

    actual missing qz8501 in 2012
    actual missing qz8501 in 2012
  21. Post update

    The Associated Press reports that while the air search has been suspended for the night, some boats are still looking for any sign of the plane.

  22. Post update

    It's confirmed now that, around 11 hours after last contact with flight QZ 8501, Indonesia's air search has been suspended for the night because of poor visibility and bad weather. There is still no confirmation of what happened to the plane. The pilot had asked to change course to avoid storms but made no distress call.

  23. Post update

    British Embassy in Jakarta

    says: "We are aware of an incident QZ 8501. Our thoughts are with the passengers' families as they await further news. We have been informed by the local authorities that one British national was on board. Their next of kin have been informed. We are working closely with the local authorities in Singapore who are providing assistance to the family."

  24. Email

    Kabir Dhaliwal emailed

    "This is really tragic. I'm Malaysian, and this is really affecting everyone here. The floods on the east coast of the peninsula and this airplane have been trending on all the major social networks. Our hopes and prayers are with everyone on board and with their families."

  25. Malaysia denies rumours that debris has been found

    Liow Tiong Lai

    Malaysian Transport Minister

    tells journalists at a press conference: "As of now, at this time, there are lots speculations saying they found the plane. As of this time it's not true. At this time, we're still searching for the plane."

  26. Post update

    What is the story of AirAsia, and how does its Indonesian subsidiary differ from the parent company? Joe Miller from BBC Business has compiled a profile of the company.

    Air Asia
  27. Flight path

    This map shows the projected flight path of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, and the highlighted area where the plane is thought to have lost contact.

    May showing AirAsia flightpath, 28 December 2014
  28. BreakingSearch suspended

    Hadi Mustofa

    Indonesia Transport Ministry official

    tells AFP: "We ended at 1730 (1030 GMT) because it was getting dark. The weather was also not too good as it was getting really cloudy."

    "Tomorrow we will begin at 7 am, or even earlier than that if the weather is good," he added.

  29. BreakingBreaking News

    The search for missing AirAsia flight QZ 8501 has been suspended for the night, Indonesian officials say.

  30. Post update

    Liow Tiong Lai

    Malaysian Transport Minister

    tweets: Malaysia deployed 3 vessels & 3 aircraft to assist Indonesian-led search ops for #QZ8501

    malaysia transport ministry
  31. Post update

    Tony Fernandes

    AirAsia CEO and founder

    tweets the following: "I am touched by the massive show of support especially from my fellow airlines. This is my worse nightmare. But there is no stopping."

    "To all my staff Airasia all stars be strong, continue to be the best. Pray hard. Continue to do your best for all our guests. See u all soon"

  32. Singapore Changi Airport statement

    Changi Airport Group, which run Singapore's main airport, has released a statement on missing flight QZ 8501:

    "As of this update, 47 relatives and friends of 57 passengers on board Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 have registered at Singapore Changi Airport's Relatives' Holding Area (RHA) at Terminal 2.

    Help and support are being provided to them at the RHA by 36 Changi Airport Group (CAG) care officers and four counsellors from the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Other staff from CAG, AirAsia and airport partners, as well as officials from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, have also been present to assist.

    Arrangements for local accommodation or for travel to Indonesia have been made for the next-of-kin. The thoughts and concerns of CAG and the Changi Airport community are with the passengers of QZ8501, their families and friends."

  33. Post update

    AirAsia Indonesia issues a correction on its Facebook page about the nationalities of passengers and crew on board the missing flight QZ8501:

    Nationalities of passengers:

    1 Singaporean

    1 Malaysian

    3 South Koreans

    1 Briton

    149 Indonesians

    Nationalities of crew:

    1 French

    6 Indonesians

  34. Post update

    Tony Abbott

    Australian Prime Minister

    tweets: I've spoken to President Widodo tonight to convey Australia's sadness at the #AirAsia #QZ8501 tragedy and offered all we can to assist

  35. Post update

    Anna Jones, BBC News, Indonesia

    The seas here on the straits are rough but nothing exceptional. But it could be much worse further out in the less-sheltered Java sea. It's getting dark in this area and is still raining, making it very hard to spot something in these conditions.

  36. Post update

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks to the media in Sydney, Australia on 23 December 2014

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reached out to Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, offering a P3 Orion aircraft to help search for the missing AirAsia plane, ABC News reports.

  37. Weather over Indonesia's airspace

    The picture shows a satellite image of the weather over Indonesia's airspace at the time the plane went missing:


    BBC Weather's Darren Bett says it is not unusual at this time of year for there to be strong thundercloud formations in the area where the plane went missing. The satellite image shows deep convection in the area with cloud to 50,000ft.

  38. Post update

    Anna Jones, BBC News, Indonesia

    There have been heavy storms with lightning and very heavy rain all weekend in the seas between Sumatra and Singapore. There is also a lightning storm going on now over the straits.

  39. Scenes at Surabaya's crisis centre

    The BBC's Alice Budisatrijo in Surabaya sent us these pictures from the crisis centre in Surabaya's Juanda Airport.

    crisis centre
    crisis centre
    airport surabaya
  40. Another flight 'in difficulties'

    An Air Asia aircraft lands behind other Air Asia jets, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 terminal (KLIA 2) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24 June 2014

    Another AirAsia flight, travelling from Penang to Langkawi, turns back with technical difficulties, reports the New Straits Times newspaper in Malaysia.

  41. Post update

    An airport official checks a map of Indonesia at the crisis center set up by local authority for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on Sunday, 28 December, 2014

    It is now 18:08 local time, leaving only about an hour of daylight left in the designated search area for flight QZ8501.

  42. Post update

    Alice Budisatrijo

    BBC Producer, Jakarta

    tweets: Indonesian navy official told BBC no wreckage of #QZ5801 has been found. Poor weather conditions in search area, visibility between 5-10km.

  43. Post update

    BBC Monitoring

    Indonesia's Metro TV, as seen by BBC Monitoring, says that the search for missing flight QZ8501 is focusing on the waters around South Borneo.

  44. Post update

    Charles Scanlon

    BBC Asia Pacific Editor

    The missing plane was on a well monitored flight path over the Java Sea, less than an hour's flying time from major regional hubs including Singapore and Jakarta.

    Search planes and ships will fan out from the point where it disappeared from radar screens and experts say they should not have much trouble finding it.

    It will, however, bring back anguished memories of the two other aircraft with a Malaysian connection lost this year.

    A search is still continuing in the Indian ocean for a Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared without a trace in March.

  45. Post update

    For more updates and developments on the missing AirAsia plane, subscribe to our Twitter list on @BBCNewsAsia.

  46. Search efforts

    The Indonesian air force says two planes have been dispatched to scour an area of the Java Sea, southwest of Pangkalan Bun in Kalimantan province -- around halfway along the flight's expected route.

    Air force spokesman Hadi Cahyanto said: "The weather is cloudy and the area is surrounded by sea. We are still on our way so we won't make an assumption on what happened to the plane."

  47. Post update

    Passengers queue at the AirAsia check-in counter before departure at Singapore Changi airport terminal on 28 December, 2014

    Despite the disappearance of flight QZ 8501, other AirAsia flights are still continuing.

  48. Post update

    An official from Indonesia's national search and rescue agency in Medan, North Sumatra points at his computer screen to the position where AirAsia flight QZ8501 went missing off the waters of Indonesia on 28 December, 2014

    An official from Indonesia's national search and rescue agency points at a computer screen displaying the last known position of AirAsia flight QZ8501.

  49. BreakingBritish national on board

    The UK Foreign Office now confirms that a British national was on board missing AirAsia flight QZ8501. Next of kin has been informed, the Foreign Office says.

  50. Post update

    Channel NewsAsia

    tweets: Indonesia Ambassador to Singapore, Andri Hadi, has arrived at the relatives' holding area at Changi Airport

  51. Reports of Briton on board

    In the UK, the Foreign Office says it is "aware" of reports that a British national is among the missing. A spokesman said: " "Our thoughts are with the passengers' families as they await further news. We are aware of reports of a British national on board and are liaising urgently with the local authorities to establish further details."

  52. Post update

    The Jakarta Post

    reports: "AirAsia flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore is believed to have crashed at the location 03.22.46 South and 108.50.07 East, in waters around 80-100 nautical miles from Belitung, a National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) official has said."

    There has been no further detail or confirmation of this report.

  53. Post update

    Alice Budisatrijo

    BBC Producer

    tweets: Officials at Surabaya airport still call QZ8501 missing, said reports of wreckage found are unconfirmed. Relatives still hopeful too.

  54. Post update

    Karishma Vaswani

    BBC Indonesia Editor

    tweets: Singapore airport officials say the families and friends of those on board are being briefed regularly about the missing plane.

  55. Post update

    Channel News Asia

    reports: AirAsia QZ8501's return flight from Singapore back to Surabaya, QZ8502, has been delayed by 8 hours, and is now scheduled to take off from Changi Airport's Terminal 1 at 10.35pm.

  56. Airbus statement

    The aircraft manufacturer Airbus has released a statement on missing flight QZ8501 including details on the aircraft model, a six-year old A320-200 that had carried out some 13,600 flights.

  57. Post update

    A relative looks to a list of passengers of Air Asia missing plane at Juanda Airport, Surabaya, Indonesia on 28 December 2014.

    A relative scans a list of passenger names on board the missing AirAsia plane at Juanda Airport, Surabaya, Indonesia.

  58. Malaysia Airlines updates Facebook with solidarity message

    Malaysia Airlines has posted an update to Facebook expressing solidarity with AirAsia:

  59. Post update

    The Wall Street Journal

    reports that an official from Indonesia's meteorological agency says the weather conditions were slightly rainy in Belitung island and Pontianak city in Kalimantan.

    The plane is thought to have gone missing between the island and the city, and was estimated to be flying through the vicinity, with thick cumulonimbus clouds as high as 45,000 feet.

    "In general cumulonimbus is quite dangerous for aviation activities because it causes thunderstorms and heavy rain," she said. "We have issued a notice that the flight route is cloudy."

  60. Tony Fernandes

    AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes bought the company 13 years ago from a conglomerate owned by the Malaysian government, and turned it from a loss-maker into a successful budget airline. The 28th richest person in Malaysia, he has many links with the UK - he studied at the London School of Economics and owns the football team Queen's Park Rangers.

  61. On board QZ8501

    AirAsia Indonesia released this earlier statement on Facebook, detailing the nationalities of the passengers and crew members on board flight QZ8501:

    156 Indonesians

    1 Singaporean

    1 Malaysian

    1 France

    3 South Koreans

  62. Post update

    Channel NewsAsia

    tweets: Malaysian Transport Minister @liowtionglai dismisses claims that #QZ8501 has been found

  63. Singapore PM calls Indonesia's President

    BBC Monitoring

    Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called Indonesian President Joko Widodo to offer help in the search operation for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, Singapore's Channel NewsAsia website reports.

    "Two RSAF C-130 search and locate aircraft are on standby. Our ministers will follow up," Lee tweeted. The website said that the Singapore Air Force has placed two C-130 aircraft and ships on standby to assist in the search operation.

  64. Post update

    Relatives of passengers on board flight QZ8501 wait for news at Surabaya's Juanda Airport.

    relatives wait at Juanda Airport surabaya 28 December 2014
    relatives wait at Juanda Airport surabaya 28 December 2014
  65. Search and rescue

    AP: Indonesia's Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan says search and rescue efforts now involve the Indonesian army, the national Search and Rescue Agency as well as Singapore and Malaysia.

  66. Singapore joins search and rescue efforts


    The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore confirms in this statement that Indonesia has accepted its offer to assist in search and rescue operations for the missing Air Asia flight QZ 8501.

  67. Search standby

    Indian media report on social media that three naval vessels and one fixed-wing aircraft are now on standby to assist in search and rescue operations for the missing AirAsia plane.

  68. Post update

    Aviation and aerospace industries website Flight Global reports that adverse weather conditions over Southeast Asia could hamper the search.

  69. Search under way

    Local media report that the Indonesia National Search and Rescue Agency Bangka Belitung has dispatched one vessel to search for the lost AirAsia flight QZ8501.

  70. Post update

    Mike Yeo

    Freelance SE Asian military and aviation journalist

    tweets: A Republic of Singapore AF C-130 Hercules has departed Paya Lebar AB on a Search and Locate mission for #QZ8501

  71. Post update

    AirAsia companies and founder Tony Fernandes have changed their pictures on social media to grey following news of missing flight QZ8501:

  72. Flight path

    Flight QZ8501 is thought to have gone missing between Tanjung Pandan on Belitung island and the West Kalimantan city of Pontianak, according to Djoko Murjatmodjo from the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation:

  73. Post update

    Tony Fernandes

    AirAsia CEO and founder

    tweets: On my way to Surabaya where most of the passengers are from as with my Indonesian management. Providing information as we get it.

  74. Post update

    Najib Razak

    Malaysian Prime Minister

    tweets: Very sad to hear that AirAsia Indonesia QZ8501 is missing. My thoughts are with the families. Malaysia stands ready to help.

  75. Post update

    Saira Asher

    BBC News, Singapore

    Changi Airport official: "Care officers are on hand, with blankets and drinks. There are no AirAsia officials in the holding area in Changi."

  76. Post update

    Djoko Murjatmodjo

    Director General of Aviation, Indonesian Ministry of Transportation

    said at a news conference in Surabaya: "The plane contacted Jakarta Air Traffic Control at 0612, at the frequency 125.7megahertz. During that contact, the Jakarta Air Traffic Control could still identify the plane on the radar screen."

    "The plane stated that it was trying to avoid cloud and directed the plane to the left of M635 route and asked to go up to altitude 38,000ft. We have not received the ELT (distress) signal so our conclusion so far is the plane lost contact at 0617."

  77. Post update

    A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct possible next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, at Changi Airport in Singapore on 28 December, 2014

    A staff member at Singapore's Changi Airport holds up a sign as he directs people affected by the disappearance of the AirAsia flight QZ 8501.

  78. About AirAsia Indonesia

    AirAsia Indonesia is an Indonesian carrier and is an affiliate of the Malaysian company AirAsia.


    Headquartered in the capital, Jakarta, AirAsia Indonesia operates domestic flights around the Indonesian archipelago as well as international flights to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Thailand.

    In 2007 AirAsia Indonesia was banned from flying to the EU because of safety concerns - like many Indonesian airlines. However the ban was lifted in July 2010.

    Both AirAsia and AirAsia Indonesia have clean safety records in their 18 and 10-year operating histories. The missing flight, QZ 8501, is the only major incident to have affected the company.

  79. Post update

    Liow Tiong Lai

    Malaysian Transport Minister

    tweets: I have been alerted that @AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to SPore has lost contact at 0724hrs with 155 ppl on board

  80. Indonesian airspace

    The airspace around Indonesia and Singapore is a very busy zone. This image shows the region at about the time that flight QZ 8501 lost contact (07:15-07:30/23:15-23:30 GMT). More details are available via Flight Radar 24

    flight radar map
  81. Post update

    AirAsia has said in its latest statement at 05:25 GMT that search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of the Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

    "AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way," the statement adds.

  82. Flight manifest

    The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation has released a flight log detailing passengers and crew on board QZ 8501.

    There are 155 passengers listed as on board the flight - one infant, 16 children and 138 adults. Twenty-three people did not show up for the flight.

    airasia flight manifest
  83. Post update

    The AirAsia flight had been due to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 local time (00:30GMT).

    The missing jet had requested a "deviation" from the flight path due to bad weather, the company said.

    An official with the transport ministry, Hadi Mustofa, told local media the plane lost contact over the Java Sea, between the islands of Kalimantan and Java.


    He said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact and that the weather had been cloudy.

    AirAsia has set up an emergency line for family or friends of those who may be on board. The number is +622 129 850 801.

  84. Post update

    AirAsia posted an update on Facebook and tweeted at 10:47 (03:47 GMT) confirming that flight QZ 8501 had lost contact at 07:24 (00:24 GMT)

  85. Post update

    Welcome to the BBC's live updates on AirAsia flight QZ 8501, which has gone missing en route to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia.