Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control at 06:24 local time (23:24 GMT Saturday) over the Java Sea.
The plane, an Airbus A320-200, disappeared midway into the flight of more than two hours from the city of Surabaya. No distress call was made.
A total number of 155 passengers, two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer. These included 138 adults, 16 children and one infant according to a statement released by AirAsia following the disappearance of the plane.
Indonesia's acting director general of transportation, said the last contact between pilot and the air traffic control was at 6.13 a.m. on Saturday) “when the pilot requested permission to deviate from its submitted flight plan route due to weather condition."
There was vigorous thunderstorm at the time. It's been hours now since the plane went missing and there has been no update on the plane's whereabouts.
AirAsia has since released a statement about the people on board. They said the people on board included 156 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one French person, one Malaysian and one Singaporean. But Britain has said one of their citizens was on board.
This has been a difficult year for aviation in Asia: Malaysia's national carrier Malaysia Airlines has suffered two losses - flights MH370 and MH17.
Flight MH370 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew. The wreckage, thought to be in southern Indian Ocean, has still not been located. MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board.
AirAsia has set up an emergency line for family or friends of those who may be on board. The number is +622 129 850 801.