Just a half-hour before landing, Egyptair Flight MS804 disappeared from Greek radar on its way from Paris to Cairo on Thursday morning. Hours later, both Greek and Egyptian officials concluded that it likely crashed in the Mediterranean shortly after losing contact. French president Francois Hollande confirmed the same news later in the morning. The aerospace company that manufactured the model A320 plane, Airbus, released a statement regarding the missing Egyptair craft. In one Facebook post and two tweets, the company offered its technical services to investigators and expressed condolences to the families affected by the tragedy whose cause remains unknown.
In its "Statement #1" published to Facebook, Airbus referenced the flight as "lost" but did not confirm that it had crashed. According to the company, which is based in a French suburb of Toulouse, Airbus A320 had operated under Egyptair since November 2003 and had collected about 48,000 flight hours. Updates on new facts will be published in the future after permission from authorities is granted, Airbus said. Though this is not the first Airbus crash, Phil Seymour, president of the International Bureau of Aviation, told CNN that the model has historically received high safety ratings.
The A320 has a fantastic safety record. There have been a couple of incidents, but generally speaking, they're safer than most aircraft out there now.
One of those incidents occurred on Dec 28, 2014, when an AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea due to a problem with the plane's rudder control system. All 162 people on board died.
Airbus also published two tweets that summarized the company's main messages.
Details surrounding the plane's crash are murky and Paris prosecutors are thoroughly considering all scenarios, The Telegraph reported. Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail similarly stated, “We cannot rule anything out," adding that there was no distress call reported from the plane. However, Egyptair Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel said that a distress signal in the same area was received about two hours after the plane disappeared. Egyptian armed forces ensured authorities they had not received a distress call from their own men. The signal's origin has yet to be determined. Egyptair has also been active on Twitter, asking that media outlets do not publish information that has not been confirmed by investigators.
According to Greece's defense minister, the plane made "sharp turns" and proceeded to plunge into the Mediterranean Sea south of the Greek Island, Karpathos, the BBC reported. A search and rescue operation is under way to recover any passengers that may have survived.