ALGIERS, Algeria — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early today over northern Mali, officials said. France’s foreign minister said no wreckage had been found, but that the plane “probably crashed.”
Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, the official Algerian news agency APS said.
“Despite an intensive search, at the moment I speak no trace of the aircraft has been found,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in Paris. “The plane has probably crashed.”
More than 50 French were onboard the plane along with 27 Burkina Faso nationals and passengers from a dozen other countries. The flight crew was Spanish.
The flight was being operated by Spanish airline Swiftair.
The disappearance of the Air Algerie plane comes after a spate of aviation disasters. Fliers around the globe have been on edge ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March on its way to Beijing.
Last week, a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over a war-torn section of Ukraine.
Then this week, U.S. and European airlines started canceling flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket landed near the city’s airport.
Finally, on Wednesday a Taiwanese plane crashed during a storm, killing 48 people.
It’s easy to see why fliers are jittery, but air travel is relatively safe.
Travelers are much more likely to die driving to the airport than stepping on a plane. There are more than 30,000 motor-vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, a mortality rate eight times greater than that in planes.