Missing AirAsia flight: Request to deviate from flight plan made due to weather

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(CNN) –Before communication was lost with AirAsia Flight 8501, the aircraft requested to deviate from the planned flight route due to weather, the airline said in a statement.

The plane was still under Indonesian air traffic control as it headed toward Singapore.

Flight 8501 is carrying 162 people: 155 passengers, two pilots and five cabin crew members, the airline said in a statement.

156 are Indonesian, three are South Korean, one is Malaysian, one is Singaporean

Flight QZ 8501 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. Sunday (6:24 p.m. Saturday ET), AirAsia said.

“At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available,” AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement.

The flight, an Airbus A320-200, was on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, according to the airline’s website.

The plane left Surabaya Juanda International Airport at 5:27 a.m. Sunday and was due to arrive in Singapore at 8:37 a.m., according to the website.

AirAsia said on Facebook that it has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed, White House Spokesman Eric Schultz said. White House officials will continue to monitor the situation, Schultz said.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes almost 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which dropped off radar over Southeast Asia in March.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight 370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Stay with FOX 8 News and FOX8.com for updates.