Jakarta: An Indonesian airliner with 54 people onboard lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday in the remote eastern region of Papua, the nation’s search and rescue agency said.
The Trigana Air Service flight left Sentani Airport in Papua region’s capital Jayapura at 2:22 p.m. and was scheduled to land in the southern town of Oksibil at about 3:16 p.m., officials said.
The plane lost contact at about 2:55 p.m., Transportation Ministry spokesman J.A. Barata told CNN Indonesia. Barata said there was no indication that a distress call was made from the plane.
The aircraft was carrying 44 adults, five children and five crew. “A search was launched earlier today, but was called off because of bad weather, and it’s also now dark there,” Barata added.
Search-and-rescue official Ludi Yanto told CNN that rescue efforts will include an air search and a ground search. It is unclear why the plane went missing. Officials said the weather was clear when the plane took off in Jayapura.
Trigana Air has had 14 serious incidents since it began operations in 1991, losing 10 aircraft in the process, the Aviation Safety Network said. It has been on a European Union (EU) blacklist of banned carriers since 2007, the network added.