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Egypt deployed naval ships to search for an EgyptAir Airbus A320 en route to Cairo from Paris that went missing overnight off the coast of the North African country with 66 people on board.

Communication with Flight MS804 was lost at about 2:30 a.m. Cairo time and Egyptian armed forces received a distress signal from the plane’s emergency systems, according to the airline. The aircraft, which EgyptAir said was manufactured in 2003, took off at 11:09 p.m. in Paris with 56 passengers, 7 crew and 3 security personnel and was traveling at 37,000 feet. It disappeared about 280 kilometers (170 miles) off the Egyptian coast, authorities said.

The disappearance of the Paris-Cairo plane follows a string of aviation-related incidents involving the North African country, including a Russian airliner en route from Sharm-el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg that crashed soon after takeoff in October, killing 224. An EgyptAir flight was hijacked to Cyprus in March by a man claiming to be wearing an explosive belt, but later found to be unarmed.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. in Cairo. So far there’s no official explanation for what happened to the plane. French President Francois Hollande will meet with ministers this morning to discuss the incident, AFP reported.

Mid-flight emergencies are rare, with most accidents happening in the phase of take-off or landing. Should the plane have crashed, salvage crews will focus on retrieving the flight and data recorders, so-called black boxes that store key flight metrics and voices and sounds from the cockpit that can help investigators pinpoint the cause of a crash. Finding a plane after an incident, particularly over seas, can typically take hours if not days. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service in Greece said weather was good in the area of the sea close to Egypt, with no winds or clouds.

In Europe, from where Flight MS804 took off, authorities have been on high alert since terror attacks in Paris and Brussels prompted a review of security procedures. About 130 people died in the French capital after three teams of men linked to the Islamic State blew themselves up outside a stadium and attacked a cafe and a concert hall in November. Bombings at the airport in the Belgian capital and on a subway in March killed 35 people.

“You’d expect security to be very, very tight at a first-class airport, especially after what happened in Paris and Belgium,” said Nick O’Brien, associate professor for counter terrorism at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.

The MS804 pilot has 6,275 flying hours and the co-pilot 2,766 hours, according to the airline. The plane’s manufacturing date makes it a relatively young aircraft compared with EgyptAir’s fleet which has an average age of 20 years.

The A320 is Airbus’s best-selling aircraft series, which started operating in 1988 and has a global fleet of about 6,200 jets, according to Ascend, a London-based aviation data provider. There have been 12 fatal crashes, including a Germanwings flight in March last year and AirAsia Bhd.’s Flight 8501, which went down in the Java Sea in December 2014.

“At this time we have no further details, but we will provide further information when available,” a spokeswoman for Airbus Group SE said in an e-mail.

A Boeing Co. 777 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines with 239 people on board, on a routine flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014, triggering an unprecedented search for parts and debris. It has become one of aviation’s most befuddling mysteries. The chances of finding the plane are fading, the head of the Australian investigation team told the Guardian newspaper this week.  

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