This morning, an EgyptAir flight traveling overnight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport disappeared en route to Cairo International Airport. After making two sharp turns and dropping 25,000-feet, the aircraft disappeared from radar.
Aviation analysts have yet to come to definitive conclusions, though the wide swerves and turns suggest the pilots were losing control of the aircraft. According to CNN, a distress signal was detected about two hours after aircraft vanished, though even this report is unconfirmed. French and Egyptian authorities are working together to find answers.
There were 66 passengers and crew aboard—30 from Egypt and 15 from Paris, among others. Egyptian officials say an act of terror is more likely responsible for bringing down flight MS804 than a mechanical failure, and the U.S. government has corroborated that belief, suggesting a bomb is responsible. For more details, click here.
If you're planning to travel soon—especially on flights to or from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport or Cairo International Airport in Egypt, here’s everything you need to know now:
- At this time, both Charles de Gaulle Airport as well as Cairo International Airport remain open.
- While flights continue to depart from Cairo, an EgyptAir flight bound for Paris has been cancelled. Please be sure to check your individual flights statuses closely.
- EgyptAir has established crisis centers with doctors and translators at both airports.
- The aircraft in question, an Airbus A320-232, has a “fantastic safety record,” the president of the International Bureau of Aviation, Phil Seymour, told CNN.
- TIME reported that Charles de Gaulle Airport has some of the most rigorous—and unusual—security measures in place. After the recent terrorist attacks, French police officers meet every flight that originated in the Middle East to check the passports of every passenger onboard. Experts say an attack instigated at CDG would be "completley incredibe."
Please check back for regular updates and reports. For flight MS804 in an air travel context, click here.
UPDATE May 19, 2016: Wreckage from flight MS804 has been found, including two seats and a suitcase. The debris was spotted about 180 miles from Alexandria.
UPDATE MAY 24, 2016: An Egyptian forensics official said—unofficially—that the condition of the human remains suggests an explosion brought down MS804. Meanwhile, ships and planes from across the world are working to retrieve the flight's black boxes. Egypt's state-run air navigation services is also dismissing the Greek defense minister's claims that the airplane swerved and rapidly lost altitude moments before disappearing from radar. Hopefully, recovering the flight recorders will put an end to the contradictions.
UPDATE MAY 26, 2016: According to the Wall Street Journal, search teams have detected the plane's emergency signal, which will help narrow the search for the black boxes to a three-mile radius.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.