A Ukrainian cargo plane has crashed in the Sahara desert early this morning, killing all seven people on board, according to Algeria's transport ministry.

The Antonov 12, which had come from Glasgow in Scotland and was bound for Equatorial Guinea, came down near Tamanrasset airport at around 2.40 am, a ministry statement said.

"Unfortunately, rescue teams did not find any survivors at the scene of the crash," the statement added.

The aircraft had been transporting petroleum industry equipment.

It had made a stopover for unspecified technical reasons at Tamanrasset, an Algerian city deep in the Sahara 2,000km south of Algiers.

Previously, it had made another technical stop at Ghardaia, 600km south of the capital.

Rescuers found debris from the aircraft in a mountainous area, local officials said.

Transport Minister Amar Ghoul said an inquiry into the crash is under way.