Flight JT610 took off at around 6.20am local time on Monday (October 29) but authorities lost contact with the aircraft 13 minutes into the flight, the airline has said.
The flight was bound for Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka. A spokesperson for Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency said shortly after 7am GMT no survivors had yet been found.
Lion Air said 178 adults on board, two babies and one infant, as well as two pilots and six crew. The search and rescue agency said 189 people were on board.
The aircraft made a request to return to Jakarta shortly after take off, local media report.
Images tweeted by the search and rescue agency show debris in the waters off the coast of the capital.
In a statement, Lion Air said the aircraft was a new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft built this year and entered service with Lion Air on August 15.
The captain and co-pilot, said Lion Air, had more than 11,000 flight hours between them.
“Lion Air flight JT610 en-route to Pangkalpinang has crashed near Kerawang, 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport at 6:20am,” said the airline.
“Lion Air is concerned with the incident and will work with the relevant authorities and agencies on this matter.”