Missing AirAsia flight: Briton on board is Chi-Man Choi

Chi-Man Choi Image copyright LinkedIn
Image caption Chi-Man Choi is understood have been on board the missing plane

The Briton on board missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 is Chi-Man Choi, the BBC understands.

It is thought the 48-year-old was with his two-year-old daughter Zoe on the plane, which was flying from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board when it went missing early on Sunday.

Hong Kong immigration officials said Mr Choi is a Hong Kong resident.

The UK Foreign Office earlier confirmed a British national was on the flight and the family had been informed.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those on board Air Asia flight QZ8501."

Mr Choi's Facebook account says he comes from Kingston upon Hull, while his LinkedIn profile says he works for French multinational company Alstom Power and attended Essex University.

Alstom Power has told the BBC that Mr Choi was the company's managing director of thermal services in Indonesia. It also said its thoughts were with the Choi family "during this difficult time".

'Stay strong'

The Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control almost two hours after take off, at 06:24 local time (23:24 GMT Saturday) over the Java Sea.

The plane had requested a "deviation" from its planned flight path due to bad weather, AirAsia said.

AirAsia's chief executive Tony Fernandes, who also owns UK Premier League football team Queens Park Rangers, tweeted: "Thank you for all your thoughts and prays. we must stay strong."

He later wrote on Twitter that he was travelling to Surabaya, where most of the passengers were from.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The flight arrivals board at Changi Airport in Singapore, where the AirAsia flight was due

There were 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, and seven crew on the flight, according to AirAsia.

The airline has set up an emergency line for family or friends of those who may have been on the aircraft. The number is +622 129 850 801.

Travel editor of the Independent, Simon Calder, said investigators would be focusing on flying conditions as bad weather may have been a factor in the incident.

AirAsia, a budget airline which owns 49% of AirAsia Indonesia, is based in Malaysia and has never lost a plane.

This is the third time a Malaysia-based airline has lost a plane this year.

The country's national carrier Malaysia Airlines lost contact with flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean in March. And in July, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

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