World Bulletin / News Desk
A search and rescue operation was under way Thursday after an EgyptAir Airbus A320 with 66 people on board vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, the airline said.
A tweet on the airline's official account said flight MS804 left Paris at 11:09 pm local time (2109 GMT), "heading to Cairo (and) has disappeared from radar".
Further tweets in Arabic said contact was lost at 2:45 am Cairo time (0045 GMT), when the plane was just inside Egyptian airspace and at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,000 metres).
The airline said in a statement that Egyptian military search and rescue teams were combing the area where the jet might have gone down.
There were 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security men on board, the statement said, adding the passengers included a boy and two babies.
Ahmed Abdel, the vice-chairman of EgyptAir holding company, told CNN that search and rescue teams were now at the scene.
"Daylight has just broken around an hour ago, so we should get some information within the next hour," he told the channel at around 0400 GMT.
There were no distress calls from the plane, he added.
The flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Cairo normally takes just over four hours and the plane was due to arrive at 3:05 am local time.
EgyptAir said the plane had been manufactured in 2003.
EgyptAir hit the headlines in March when a flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to divert to Cyprus, where the "unstable" hijacker demanded to see his ex-wife.
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