Update 10:30 p.m. EST: The head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency said Monday missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 likely went down in the Java Sea. "Based on our coordinates, we predict that the plane is on the sea, for now it could be in the bottom of the sea," Soelistyo told reporters.
Soelistyo also said the government would review AirAsia's Indonesian operations, Reuters reported.
Reuters reported the search for the plane, which vanished from radar screens early Sunday, is concentrated northeast of Indonesia's Bangka island, about halfway between Surabaya and Singapore. Singapore, Malaysia and Australia are participating in the search along with Indonesian forces. The United States, Britain, South Korea and India also have offered to help.
Though the plane's pilot had asked air traffic controllers permission to ascend to 38,000 feet to avoid thunderclouds, the plane disappeared before permission could be granted.
The search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 entered its second day Monday, local time, as friends and the families of the missing passengers wait for answers from the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency. The flight, which was headed from the Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, disappeared from radar Sunday as it flew over the Java Sea. AirAsia lost contact with the aircraft at 7:24 a.m., shortly after one of the pilots asked to climb to 38,000 feet because of storms.
The search for the missing plane came to a halt as night fell Sunday. No sign of wreckage had been spotted, Indonesian officials said. The search for Flight QZ8501 is not expected to be as difficult as the search for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March.
The search for the plane resumed at daybreak. Several ships and helicopters were to search for the plane in four sections of 120-by-240 nautical miles, Indonesia's National Rescue Agency said, adding a search on land also may be conducted. Other countries also were to assist in the search effort. Malaysia pledged to provide three ships and Singapore, a search plane.
Of the 155 passengers aboard the flight, 137 adults are adults, 17 children and one infant, AirAsia said on its Facebook page. The airline said 149 of the passengers are Indonesian, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, three South Korean and one Briton. One of the crew, one is French and the six others are Indonesian.
Indonesian authorities said the Java Sea is a heavily used shipping route with shallow waters, which would make it easier for rescue teams to identify any wreckage. So far officials have not released any details of what might have happened to the plane.
International Business Times reported Sunday the kind of aircraft involved in the disappearance has been involved in 54 flight incidents -- 11 associated with fatalities -- since Airbus Group NV debuted the aircraft in 1988, a database maintained by the Flight Safety Foundation showed.
The missing plane is an Airbus A320-200, a model that has been flown some 85 million times since its first flight, the French aerospace company said. The aircraft has a “formidably good” safety record, with no crashes in six year. The aircraft manufacturer told CNN it would provide "full assistance to authorities in charge of investigating the missing plane."