MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Several Russians were among passengers of the Air Algerie plane that went missing Thursday while performing a flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria, the Algerie1 news portal reported.
According to various sources, the plane carried from 112 to 119 passengers. Algerie1 said 50 of them were citizens of France, and four – of Germany.
There were also six or seven crew members on board the plane, which performed a shared flight with Spanish air carrier Swiftair. All crew members are Spanish citizens.
All on board are feared dead after the plane presumably crashed near Niger’s capital Niamey, Algeria’s privately owned An-Nahar TV reported. Earlier reports suggested that it went off radar screens above Mali.
The airline announced that the plane had gone missing in a brief statement published by a national news agency APS.
“Air navigation services have lost contact with an Air Algerie plane Thursday flying from Ouagadougou to Algiers, 50 minutes after takeoff,” the statement said.
Earlier on Thursday, an unnamed Air Algerie representative told AFP that the contact with the plane was lost after the plane made a detour.
“The plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route,” Air Algerie representative told AFP.
Air Algerie, founded in 1947, is a state-owned airline that flies to 69 destinations in 28 countries. The company has a fleet of 43 aircrafts, including Boeing 737-800, ATR 72-500 and Airbus A330-200.
During its 67-year long history, the company has had 5 fatal accidents, leading to over 200 deaths.