World / Asia-Pacific

New Zealand plane to join search for missing AirAsia flight

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-30 13:57

New Zealand plane to join search for missing AirAsia flight

A member of an Indonesian Hercules C130 aircrew watches through a window while monitoring the Belitung Timur sea during search operations for AirAsia flight QZ8501 near Belitung island, December 29, 2014 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. [Photo/Agencies]

WELLINGTON -- A New Zealand air force P3 Orion has been deployed to join the international search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, Radio New Zealand reported on Tuesday.

The plane disappeared en route from Indonesia's Java island to Singapore on Sunday.

The Orion is expected to arrive in Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory, late Tuesday and would operate under the instruction of the Indonesian authorities, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Radio New Zealand.

The search operation led by Indonesia resumed at 6:00 a.m. local time Tuesday (2300 GMT Monday) as more countries sent planes and ships to join the hunt.

The search for the Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people, which has been focused on the Java Sea between the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, was expanded to land, covering some 60,000 square nautical miles.

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