Malaysia Airlines Flight Missing with 227 Passengers: Four Americans on Board

( [email protected] ) Mar 07, 2014 11:16 PM EST
A possible relative cries at the Beijing Airport after news of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane in Beijing on March 8, 2014.

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on board from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has gone missing on Saturday, the airline said in a statement, the plane likely missing in Vietnamese airspace.

Flight MH370, operating a Boeing B777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 a.m. local time and had been expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. MH370 is 11 years and 10 months old.

The 777-200 is considered one of the safest aircraft in the world, it had not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the South Korea's Asiana airline crash in San Francisco international aiport in July 2013. Three of the 307 people aboard were killed in the fatal accident.

The airline are working with authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.

"We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370," Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members." the airline said.

According to Malaysia airline, the flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total flying hours of 18,365hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, a Malaysian, is aged 27. He has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.

The passengers were of 14 different nationalities - citizens from:

1. China - 152 plus 1 infant

2. Malaysia - 38

3. Indonesia - 12

4. Australia - 7

5. France - 3

6. United States of America - 3 pax plus 1 infant

7. New Zealand - 2

8. Ukraine - 2

9. Canada - 2

10. Russia - 1

11. Italy - 1

12. Taiwan - 1

13. Netherlands - 1

14. Austria - 1

This flight was a code share with China Southern Airlines.