EgyptAir has confirmed that flight 804, traveling from Paris to Cairo, has disappeared with 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board.
According to EgyptAir, the plane took off from Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport shortly after 11pm local time.
Three of those on board were children, including one infant, and three of the crew members were security personnel, EgyptAir reported.
Early Thursday morning, the plane disappeared from radar, the airline tweeted.
The Airbus A320 was flying at 37,000 feet when it disappeared 16km after entering Egyptian airspace, the airline said.
Egypt and Greece have launched maritime searches for missing flight, the Egyptian Army said.
EgyptAir has also published a list of passengers on board by nationality.
30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, two Iraqis, one Brit, one Belgian, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian, one Canadian, one Saudi and one Kuwaiti are on board, the airline said.
Aviation experts said the plane probably lost contact with ground radar above the Mediterranean Sea.
“Apparently it was just short of Egyptian airspace, so it was likely over the Mediterranean, because the Greek airspace joins the Egyptian airspace around that area,” aviation safety consultant Keith Mackey told Al Jazeera, “So that is probably where they will be looking.”
“Egypt air should know exactly where the plane disappeared from radar,” he said, “That would be the point where you begin your search. And its very likely that that point is over the Mediterranean.
“As day light comes, no doubt they will have airplanes and ships searching the area. If it crashed, it should not take long to find it in that area.”
“When a plane disappears suddenly like this you certainly can not rule out terrorism or an explosion onboard the aircraft,” Mackey said.
This is not the first air-safety crisis Egypt has faced recently.
In March, a domestic EgyptAir flight was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus.
On October 31 last year, Russia-bound Metrojet Flight 9268, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt , killing all 224 people on board.[Source: Al-Jazeera]