Malaysia Airlines says no confirmation that missing plane landed in China

SEPANG - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said on Saturday that they are checking the authenticity of speculation that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane had landed in Nanning in China.

He said it was merely speculation at the moment, and they have no information about that.

He said MAS flight MH370 had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am on Saturday after departing Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am. It was due to land in Beijing at 6.30am, and had enough fuel to fly up to 8.30am.

"There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed at Nanming. We are working to verify the authenticity of the report and others," he said at a press conference at the KLIA.

They are working with the Chinese authorities on that.

The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew - comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.

There were 14 nationalities on board, the majority Chinese nationals and Malaysians. No Singaporeans were on board.

The last reported position was approximately 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu, in the South China Sea in the airspace bordering Vietnam. The search and rescue is being carried out in the area, with the Vietnam authorities.

Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, a code share with China Southern Airlines.

The plane was 11 years 10 months old. There are no plans to ground any planes unless with the recommendation of the manufacturer, he said.

The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total flying hours of 18,365 hours. He joined MAS in 1981.

First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, is a Malaysian, aged 27. He has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.

"Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support."