Egypt Air Flight MS804 en route to Cairo from Paris disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning.
The plane was an Airbus 320 manufactured in 2003. It went off the radar 10 minutes out of Egyptian airspace at 02:45 local time (CLT), as it was cruising at an altitude of approximately 37,000 feet.
The aircraft departed Charles de Gaulle airport at 23:09 CEST. Civil aviation officials in Egypt were quoted by Vice News as saying the aircraft ‘probably crashed into the sea.’ A French airport official who requested anonymity told Reuters, “It did not land. That is all we can say for the moment.”
Government officials in Greece are investigating a report by a merchant ship’s captain who said he saw “a flame in the sky” over the area in the Mediterranean in which the plane disappeared.
The pilot, identified as Captain Mohamed Shokeir, was highly experienced with more than 6,000 flight hours, according to the Al Ahram daily. The copilot had more than 2,000 flight hours.
At the time, the aircraft was carrying 56 passengers with three security personnel and seven cabin crew, Gulf Business.com reported. The passengers included 15 French nationals, 30 Egyptians, two Iraqis, one from the UK and a Canadian, as well as a Belgian, a Saudi, a Sudani, a Czech national, one Portuguese and an individual from Algiers.
Egyptian Army fighter jets and Greek ships are searching together for the missing EgyptAir plane, according to Al Ahram.