A search is underway off Brazil's northeastern coast Monday after Air France lost contact with an airliner carrying more than 200 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330, was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members, company spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand said. The flight left Rio on Sunday at 7 p.m. local time and was due to land in Paris on Monday morning.
The search is focused on an area near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, more than 300 kilometres off the most eastern point of Brazil.
"Air France regrets to announce that it is without news from Air France flight 447 flying from Rio to Paris," said Air France spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand.
Barrand said the airline installed an information center at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport for the families of those aboard.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his "extreme worry" and sent ministers to the Paris airport to monitor the situation.
Fernando de Noronha is more than 300 kilometres off the most eastern point of Brazil
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