Update as of 6 a.m. EST: AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, in a statement issued Tuesday evening confirming the debris found in the Java Sea indeed came from missing Flight 8501, said that the company's "first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

 “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations," he said.


AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes announced on Twitter that he was on his way to Surabaya as reports came in Tuesday that search-and-rescue teams had spotted debris that is presumed to belong to Flight 8501, which went missing in bad weather Sunday morning, enroute to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia.

"My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences," he said in a post on Twitter, adding: "Whatever we can do at Airasia we will be doing."

Fernandes has so far overseen a successful and so far uneventful operation at AirAsia, which, in 2012, carried more than 37 million passengers. The company has been profitable every year since 2001 and in the most recent quarter, its revenue was up 3 percent. 

The Straits Times, citing TV One, a local television network, reported that six bodies, believed to be from the airplane, had been found, and posted photographs of scenes at Surabaya's Juanda Airport, where several relatives of passengers aboard the plane have gathered.

Earlier, reports citing Bambang Sulistyo, the head of search and rescue operations in Indonesia, had said that officials were 95 percent sure that the debris spotted in the Java Sea is from the missing plane.