SPAIN: Spain's Swiftair says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 110 passengers and six crew en route...
- Title: SPAIN: Spain's Swiftair says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 110 passengers and six crew en route to Algiers
- Date: 24th July 2014
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (JULY 24, 2014) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SWIFTAIR HEADQUARTERS EXTERIORS SWIFTAIR VAN DRIVING INTO HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR SWIFTAIR STAFF TALKING ON MOBILE PHONE OUTSIDE BUILDING JOURNALISTS AT DOOR OF BUILDING LOOKING FOR INFORMATION
- Reuters ID: LVA72GRYJWX20CQC9EHWGA3O4N9H
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Duration: 00:00:47
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Disasters,General,Transport
- Story Text: Spanish private airline company Swiftair on Thursday (July 24) said it had lost contact with one of its aircraft operated by Air Algerie with 110 passengers and six crew members on board.
Algeria's APS state news agency said authorities lost contact with flight AH 5017 an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso, although other officials gave other timings, adding to confusion about the fate of the flight and where it might be.
Spanish private airline company Swiftair confirmed it had no contact with its MD-83 aircraft operated by Air Algerie.
The company said in a notice posted on its website that the aircraft took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT and was supposed to land in Algiers at 0510 GMT but never reached its destination.
An Algerian aviation official said the last contact Algerian authorities had with the missing aircraft was at 0155 GMT when it was flying over Gao, Mali.
Aviation authorities in Burkina say they handed the flight to the control tower in Niamey, Niger, at 1:38 am (0138 GMT). They said last contact with the flight was just after 4:30 a.m. (0330 GMT).
Burkinabe authorities have set up a crisis unit in Ouagadougou airport to provide information to families of people on the flight.
A diplomat in the Malian capital Bamako said that the north of the country - which lies on the plane's likely flight path - was struck by a powerful sandstorm overnight.
Whatever is the fate of the flight, the loss of contact is likely to add the to jitters in the airline industry after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last week, a TransAsia Airways crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday and airlines cancelled flights into Tel Aviv due to the conflict in Gaza.
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