Frankfurt: German insurance giant Allianz confirmed on Monday it is the lead insurer of the AirAsia jet which has disappeared en route from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board.
"We can confirm that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty UK is the lead reinsurer for AirAsia, for aviation hull and liability insurance," Allianz said in a statement.
Multinational teams searched today for any sign of the Airbus A320-200 jet more than a day after Flight QZ8501 disappeared over the Java Sea.
The plane lost contact en route from Surabaya in Indonesia's east Java to Singapore yesterday after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather, in the third crisis for a Malaysian carrier this year.
"It is much too early to comment on reports of this incident at this stage, except to say that our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this missing flight," Allianz said.
"We stand by to support our client as fully and quickly as possible, working in conjunction with the insurance broker and our co-reinsurers."
The latest disappearance comes at the end of a disastrous year for Malaysian aviation.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew, and in July flight MH17 was shot down over troubled Ukraine killing all 298 on board.
A spokeswoman for Allianz said the German group was also lead insurer for Malaysian Airlines.