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3 Important Things To Know About The Missing EgyptAir Flight

Here's some important background on the tragic crash.

An EgyptAir plane carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

EgyptAir said search teams have discovered some of the wreckage of Flight MS804, but Greek officials denied plane debris had yet been found.

Here’s what we know so far about the plane and airline involved the crash:

The Plane Was An Airbus A320

The Airbus A320 is one of the most common models of planes in the world -- around 4,000 A320 planes are currently in operation.

The twin-engine, single-aisle jet first entered service in 1988, and is mainly used for short and medium-haul journeys between one and five hours.

It has a strong safety record, experts told CNN. "There have been a couple of incidents, but generally speaking, they're safer than most aircraft out there now," Phil Seymour, president of the International Bureau of Aviation, told the network.

The most recent fatal crash involving an A320 was in March 2015, when Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed Flight 9525, en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, into a mountain in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. It was also the plane that U.S. Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed on New York’s Hudson River in 2009 after striking geese, in an incident that became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

It Was Operated By Airline EgyptAir

EgyptAir is an Egyptian state-owned airline and among the oldest in the world, originally set up in 1932. It has a fleet of around 60 passenger jets, and flies to dozens of destinations around the world.

The airline has been struggling to recover financially from $1 billion in losses following Egypt’s 2011 revolution, which dented the country’s tourism economy, Bloomberg reports.

It has also suffered from some high profile crashes and hijackings over the past 40 years. The most recent incident was two months ago, when an Egyptian man hijacked an EgyptAir plane traveling from Alexandria to Cairo and forced it to land in Cyprus. No one was hurt and the hijacker was thought to have mental health issues.

This Particular Plane Has Logged Thousands Of Flight Hours

Airbus said this specific aircraft was delivered to EgyptAir in 2003 and had logged around 48,000 flight hours.

In the 24 hours before the crash, the plane had flown to the Eritrean capital of Asmara, the Tunisian capital Tunis, and Cairo before heading to Paris, the BBC reported.

EgyptAir said the pilot of missing Flight MS804 had over 6,200 hours of flying experience. The pilot was “incredibly professional, incredibly experienced,” EgyptAir official Ahmed Adel told CNN.

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