EgyptAir flight disappears from radar

EgyptAir flight disappears from radar

It's been confirmed a missing EgyptAir flight travelling from Paris to Cairo has crashed, following its disappearance from radar.

French President Francois Hollande has confirmed the A320 crashed, and he isn't ruling out any theory about the cause.

"The theory that the plane crashed and fell is now confirmed after the preliminary search and after it did not arrive at any of the nearby airports," a senior official with the Egyptian civil aviation department, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

"All causes for the disaster are open, whether it is a major technical fault or a terrorist action or any other circumstance. This will be ascertained when we inspect the plane's wreckage and transcribe its black boxes."

Flight 804 had 66 people onboard -- 56 passengers including one child and two babies, three security personnel, two cockpit crew and five cabin crew.

The A320 took off from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris at 11:09pm Paris time, and was initially said to have lost contact with radar at 2:45am Cairo time.

EgyptAir says the plane's emergency devices sent a distress signal that was received at 4:26 am -- two hours after radar contact was first thought to be lost.

EgyptAir says the aircraft lost contact with radar above the Mediterranean Sea, about 280 km from the Egyptian boarder, the Guardian reports.

It had initially said the plane was the plane was 10km inside Egyptian airspace when it disappeared, but that was disputed by Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Ihab Raslan, who told the Associated Press the plane disappeared just short of its airspace.

Mr Raslan also said the plane was likely to have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.

FlightRadar24 have released an image depicting what they say is the point at which the plane sent its final satellite communication.

EgyptAir vice chairman Ahmed Abdel says a search and rescue operation involving specialist teams and the Egyptian Armed Forces is underway.

Aviation specialist Mary Schiavo told Newshub several possibilities could be to blame for the disappearance.

"This flight would not have gone over conflict areas. It could be a mechanical issue, weather, or possible nefarious activity," she said.

The French government held an emergency meeting to discuss the matter, Mr Hollande's office said.

No New Zealanders were on board the flight. The nationalities of those who were are as follows:

EgyptAir has set up a toll free number for passengers' relatives to call from outside of Egypt: 0800 7777 0000.