Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that a search and rescue team has been dispatched after one of its Boeing 777-200s with 239 people onboard lost contact with air traffic control during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 

The aircraft, operating flight MH370, lost contact with Subang ATC at around 2.40am local time March 8, Malaysia Airlines said. It was about two hours into the flight when contact was lost and had not entered Chinese airspace. 

There are 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard. 

In a second statement, Malaysia Airlines said all contact with the aircraft had been lost and that a support facility had been set up in Kuala Lumpur for next-of-kin. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members." 

Boeing has a statement on its website homepage saying, "We are closing monitoring reports on MH370. Our thoughts are with all those onboard."

The carrier, which joined the oneworld  global alliance last year, has 15 777-200s in its fleet.