The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which was headed from Kuala Lumpur, had 227 passengers — including two infants — and 12 crew members on board, the airline said in a statement released by CBS News. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities.
“Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew,” the airlines’ group chief executive officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said in a statement. “Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.”
Flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday local time – or 11:41 a.m. Friday Eastern time, according to a statement from the airline, CBS News reported. Air traffic control in Subang lost contact with it two hours later.
It was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday local time, or 5:30 p.m. Friday Eastern time the same day, CBS News reported.
The airline said it was working with authorities who activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft. The route would take the aircraft from Malaysia across to Vietnam and China.
China’s CCTV said 160 Chinese nationals were on board the flight, according to microblogging website Weibo.
Chinese state TV also reported there had not been any reports received yet about any aircraft crashed in Chinese waters, CBS News reported.
State news agency Xinhua reported radar contact with the flight was lost while it was in Vietnamese airspace, according to CBS News.
Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200 jets in its fleet of about 100 planes. The state-owned carrier last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss.
The 777 has not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the Asiana crash in San Francisco in July 2013.