An EgyptAir flight that crashed in the Mediterranean did not swerve and change direction before disappearing, an Egyptian official is today reported as saying.

The Airbus A320 was flying from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board when it vanished from radar early on Thursday.

Greece’s defence minister said the aircraft turned 90 degrees left and then did a 360-degree turn towards the right before plummeting.

But a senior Egyptian aviation official said there was no unusual movement.

Ehab Azmy, the head of Egypt’s state-run provider of air navigation services, told the Associated Press that the Airbus had been flying at its normal height of 37,000ft before dropping off the radar. Some debris has since been found.

“That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar,” he said.

The reason for the discrepancy between the Greek and Egyptian accounts of the plane crash is not clear.

Greek defence minister Panos Kammenos had said the radar showed the A320 making two sharp turns and dropping more than 25,000ft before plunging into the sea.

Azmy added that there were no problems with the aircraft as it entered Egyptian airspace, where it was tracked for “nearly a minute or two before it disappeared”.