SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday called Indonesian President Joko Widodo to express concern and pledged assistance of air force in the search of Air Asia plane which went missing after losing contact with air traffic controller.
The plane with 162 passengers and crew on board went missing on a flight from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore this morning. One of the passengers is from Singapore.
"Two RSAF C-130 search and locate aircrafts are on standby, ready to go. Our ministers are following up," said Lee.
Lee wrote on his Facebook, "Our thoughts are with the passengers and their families."
Defence minister Ng Eng Heng said he has also spoken to his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu.
"Offered our thoughts and prayers for passengers and crew of Air Asia flight QZ8501," Ng said.
Saddened to hear of missing flight #QZ8501. My thoughts are with the passengers and their families. - LHL— Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) December 28, 2014
"I told him that our SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) planes and ships were already on standby. If he needed their services or any other assistance, the SAF is ready to help," said Ng.
Defence Minister Ryamizard has thanked him for Singapore's concern, Ng said in a post on twitter.
It is believed the plane, flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has gone missing over Java Sea this morning.
Flight QZ8501, carrying 162 people, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control just after 07:24am local time, a transport official told local media.
Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There were no Indian nationals on board.
The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5.20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's Changi Airport at 8.30am.