Missing AirAsia flight had asked to fly higher to avoid cloud - official

A sign informing the next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore is seen next to an information counter at Changi Airport in Singapore December 28, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesia AirAsia flight went missing on Sunday about half way between its origin of Surabaya in Indonesia and its destination of Singapore, an Indonesian transport official said.

The aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing, Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Transport Ministry, told a news conference.

The aircraft had been flying at 32,000 feet and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid clouds, he said.

(Reporting by Randy Fabi; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Dean Yates)