An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo has disappeared from radar with 66 people on board, the airline says. The Airbus A320 went missing over the eastern Mediterranean, soon after entering Egyptian airspace. EgyptAir says it received a distress signal before the plane disappeared from radar. There were 56 passengers – including three children – seven crew members and three security personnel on board Flight MS804, the airline said. The airline said the passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, one Briton, two Iraqis, as well as people from Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal.
Flight MS804 left Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport at 23:09 local time on Wednesday (22:09 Nigerian time) and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital soon after 03:00 local time on Thursday. It was flying at 37,000ft (11,300m) over the eastern Mediterranean when contact was lost, at 02:45 Cairo time (01:45 Nigerian time). The Greek authorities joined Egyptian armed forces in the search operation. Earlier an airport official, quoted by Egypt’s state-run newspaper al-Ahram, said the last contact with the plane had been 10 minutes before it disappeared – and no distress signal had been sent. But EgyptAir tweeted (in Arabic) that a distress signal was sent from the plane’s emergency devices. Flightradar24 listed details of the plane’s journey on Wednesday which showed it had flown from Asmara, in Eritrea, to Cairo, then on to Tunis, in Tunisia, before heading, via Cairo, to Paris.