DOHA - The captain of a Qatar Airways flight from the Philippines to Qatar died as it was in the air on Wednesday, forcing the plane to be diverted to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said.

"Qatar Airways regrets to inform that the captain of Flight QR645, operating from Manila to Doha, passed away on board," the airline said in an emailed statement.

Qatar Airways said the flight was diverted to Kuala Lumpur, where a new crew boarded.

The flight "is due to land at Doha International Airport later today," the statement said, without providing additional details.

The airline declined to elaborate on the cause of death or release the name of the deceased pilot.

Channel NewsAsia - Qatar Airways captain dies on Manila-Doha flight -