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Search resumes for missing Air Asia flight

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Search resumes for missing Air Asia flight
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Singapore: Search and locate operations have resumed Monday for the missing Air Asia flight QZ8501 which went off radar with 162 people on board.

The plane left the airport of Surabaya city in East Java at about 5.35 am yesterday and was scheduled to land at Singapore's Changi Airport at 8:30 am local time.

"We are focusing search area in waters on east, north part of Belitung island (of Indonesia)," said an Indonesian Air Force official.

Air force aircraft, naval ships and crew from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia are involved in the search and locate operations, according to media reports.

There were no Indian nationals on board the missing flight.

The flight carrying 155 passengers - one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three South Koreans, 149 Indonesians - and seven crew members - six Indonesians and a French co-pilot - lost contact with air traffic control at 0724 local time Indonesia (0454 IST).

The Indonesia military's search and rescue team at Manggar in East Belitung have been briefing fishermen of the search area.

Some 200 personnel were deployed over 4 sectors in yesterday's search operations, reports cited Indonesian officials.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 239 people, including five Indians, that went missing on March 8.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board.

AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

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