The hunt is on for EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared from radar today.

The airline confirmed in a tweet that the plane had vanished after departing from Paris at 11.09pm (CEST) on its way to Cairo. There were 59 passengers and 10 crew members on board the Airbus A320.

While we await news on what happened to the aircraft, here's what you need to know about EgyptAir.

• It's the flag carrier airline of Egypt with a long history in the sky, having launched 83 years ago as Misr Airlines.

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• It's based at Cairo International Airport and operates scheduled flights to more than 75 destinations throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

• Its logo is inspired by Horus, a deity in ancient Egyptian mythology known as "the winged god of the sun". EgyptAir's logo depicts Horus with the head of a falcon and the body of a man.

• EgyptAir has a fleet of 60 aircraft, including 24 Boeing 737s, 10 Boeing 777s, and 11 each of Airbus A320s and A330s.

• It's a state-controlled airline, but special legislation allows EgyptAir management to operate as if it were a private company.

• Independent airline review website AirlineRatings.com has given EgyptAir and EgyptAirExpress a safety rating of 5/7. A total of 148 airlines have a seven-star rating, while 50 were rated three-stars or less, including ten that were given just one star. TigerAir was given four stars.


• It had been struggling to recover since the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. According to the country's civil aviation ministry, EgyptAir lost around $AU203 million over the 2012-13 financial year, largely due to skyrocketing fuel prices, the devaluation of the Egyptian currency and ongoing strikes. In all, EgyptAir has suffered total losses of close to $1 billion since the 2011 uprising.

• On October 31, 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 from Los Angeles to Cairo crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 217 people on-board. It had only been flying for about half an hour. Egyptian and American authorities never agreed on the cause of the crash. The Egyptians found it was due to a mechanical malfunction but the Americans stated it was the responsibility of the relief first officer.

• The airline made international headlines in March when a man hijacked EgyptAir Flight 181 and forced its diversion to Cyprus. Seif Eldin Mustafa wore an "explosive belt" which was later found to be a fake, surrendering approximately five hours later.

• Officials said early on that the hijacking was not an act of terrorism, and later that the man appeared to be psychologically unstable.

• A photo taken by smiling passenger Ben Innes with the hijacker went viral.

Ben Innes from Aberdeen (right) posing for a selfie with Egyptian Seif Eldin Mustafa who hijacked an AirEgypt plane with a fake suicide bomb belt forcing the plane to land at Larnaka airport in Cyprus. Photo / Supplied
Ben Innes from Aberdeen (right) posing for a selfie with Egyptian Seif Eldin Mustafa who hijacked an AirEgypt plane with a fake suicide bomb belt forcing the plane to land at Larnaka airport in Cyprus. Photo / Supplied

• According to Airsafe.com, the Airbus A320 - considered a safe and reliable aircraft - has been involved in a number of incidents, including:

• A runway slide by an AirCanada jet near Halifax, Canada, on March 29 last year (23 injuries).

• A Germanwings flight that was deliberately piloted into a mountain near Barcelonnette, France, on March 24, 2015 (150 deaths).

• An AirAsia flight that crashed into the Java Sea avoiding inclement weather on December 28, 2014 (162 deaths).

• A US Airways flight that was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson river in New York after suffering engine failure on January 15, 2009.