Malawi has launched a search and rescue operation FILE PHOTO. Malawi’s vice-president Saulos Klaus Chilima (2nd L). © AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP

A military aircraft carrying the vice president of Malawi has vanished from radar and failed to land at its destination, the government in Lilongwe said in a statement on Monday.

Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others were on board a Malawi Defense Force plane that departed from the capital on Monday morning for the northern city of Mzuzu. The flight was supposed to last only 45 minutes, but the aircraft never landed.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far,” presidential spokeswoman Colleen Zamba said in a statement.

The president of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has since canceled his scheduled trip to the Bahamas and ordered a search and rescue operation for the missing plane, Zamba added.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa, between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, with a population of around 20 million. (RT)