OUAGADOUGOU, July 24 (Xinhua) -- About 50 French citizens are onboard a missing Air Algerie plane en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, a representative of the airline told a news conference in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
The plane vanished over the Malian region of Gao, some 500 km southern of the Algerian border, Algerie Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters on the sidelines of a parliament session.
An updated statement from Air Algerie said there were 112 passengers and seven crew members on the missing plane, according to Algeria's state-run APS news agency.
Air Algerie also confirmed that the missing aircraft was chartered from the Spanish Swiftair company.
Algeria witnessed more than ten plane crashes since its independence in 1962. The deadliest crash occurred in March 2003, where 97 passengers died and one survived when an Air Algerie plane crashed moments after taking off from Tamenrasset airport.
French, Algerian air forces search for missing Air Algerie plane
ALGIERS, July 24 (Xinhua) -- French Air Force units in Mali and Algerian Air Force have launched a joint operation to search for an Air Algerie passenger plane that disappeared early Thursday while flying over northern Mali, a security source told Xinhua.
The source, who spoke to Xinhua on the condition of anonymity, said air search operations were focused on the desert areas near the border between Mali and Niger, adding that the Algerian authorities have requested support from the governments of Mali and Niger. Full story
Many French passengers on board missing Air Algerie plane: minister
PARIS, July 24 (Xinhua) -- French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvilier on Thursday said "likely many" French passengers were on board of Air Algerie flight which reported missing.
Speaking to the news channel BFMTV, the minister announced "likely many French passengers were on board. We opened a crisis centre." Full story