Monday, June 01, 2009

Air France jet missing over Atlantic

An Air France jet has reportedly disappeared from radar screens in the Atlantic Ocean after leaving Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro airport for Paris last night. Flight AF-447 was expected at Charles de Gaulle airport at 09:10 GMT [11:10 CET] but has failed to arrive. Airport authorities have confirmed the flight was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew and concern is mounting for the fate of those on board. CNN however reports the aircraft was carrying 231 people.
Brazil’s air force has mounted a search and rescue mission off the coast near to the small island of Fernando de Noronha [-3.9, -32.416667] where the Airbus 330-200 may have gone down. The island is 360 km off Brazil’s coast and some 2,400 km from Rio de Janeiro. Reports say contact with the aircraft was lost shortly after take-off at around 23:00 GMT. However it was not declared missing until 06:00 GMT. Air France says it shares the worry and emotion following the announcement of the missing aircraft. Following the news shares in KLM-Air France dropped significantly, plunging into negative territory [BBC / Sky News / CNN] .
The plane is logged as an Airbus 330-203 with a manufacturer’s serial number of 660. Its first flight was recorded on the 25th February 2005 and delivered to Air France in April of the same year. Flying under the call sign of F-GZCP the twin engine jet failed to be picked up by radar near to the coast of Morocco. Radar stations in Lisbon and Cape Verde have said they did not make contact with the aircraft which puts the plane anywhere between the coast of Africa and Brazil. No mayday appears to have been sent.
Friends and relatives of those concerned about passengers on board flight 447 from were asked to call the Air France helpline on 0033157021055.

No comments: