AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes has said he is 'devastated' by the disappearance of aircraft QZ8501, carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore.

The A320-200 Airbus, carrying 162 passengers and crew, disappeared over the Java Sea an hour into its flight at 06:24 local time (23:24 GMT Saturday).

Bad weather was reported in the area, but no distress call was made. The New Straits Times reported that a Royal Malaysian Air Force C130 Hercules and three navy vessels have been searching an area in the Java Sea, Borneo.

Early unconfirmed reports of wreckage being sighted have been denied by Indonesian government officials and search-and-rescue specialists.

Meanwhile, more than 100 anxious relatives of the missing passengers have been gathering at airports in Singapore and Surabaya awaiting news of the flight. They have been accommodated at a makeshift crisis centre at Surabaya airport in East Java.

An Emergency Call Centre is now available for those seeking information about relatives or friends who may have been on board the flight. The number is +622129270811.