An Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings has crashed in the French Alps with 142 passengers and six crew on board.
The aircraft came down between Barcelonnette and Digne in southern France, on route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.
Speaking to the nation shortly after the incident French president Francois Hollande said: “The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors.”
Hollande said he would be speaking shortly with German chancellor Angela Merkel
Search-and-rescue teams are presently headed to the crash site at Meolans-Revels, regional council head Eric Ciotti told the BBC.
The Germawings plane came down near Digne in southern France
Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr tweeted: “We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U9525.
“My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew.
“If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.”
The French interior ministry said debris had been located at an altitude of 2,000 metres.
A statement from Germanwings said: “Germanwings regrets to confirm that according to currently available information an Airbus A320 of Germanwings has been involved in an incident at approximately 11:00 near Nice.
“At this point, no additional information is available. Germanwings is conducting a full investigation.
“Until it is completed, we are unable to provide any further details.”
Germanwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of German flag-carrier Lufthansa.
The airline has an excellent safety record with no previously reported accidents.
The average age of its Airbus fleet is just over nine years old, though flight 4U9525 was one of its older aircraft, a 24-year-old Airbus.