A commercial airliner carrying 228 people has gone missing over the Atlantic Ocean

An Air France jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to paris has gone missing, according to reports.

The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers over the Atlantic Ocean, said the reports.

The Brazilian air force has begun a search and rescue operation.

According to a company spokesman the Airbus A330, was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members.

French officials said the last contact with the plane was received at about 2-o-clock in the morning UK time. The aircraft is believed to have encountered severe turbulence and may have suffered an electrical malfunction.