Boeing spokesman Paul Lewis said the aerospace firm was “closely monitoring the situation” but did not provide details on the aircraft in question, a 737 Max 8 which was delivered in August and began flying within days.

In a statement, the company said it was “deeply saddened” by the disaster and offered its “heartfelt sympathies” to the families and friends of the missing passengers.

The jet took off at 6.20am and crashed a mere 13 minutes later, transport ministry officials said. According to publicly available flight data, the first clue that something was wrong came just two minutes into the flight when the 737 reached 2,000ft altitude.

It dropped more than 500ft and veered to port before climbing again. No distress signal was received before all data was lost at 3,650ft.

The pilots had asked to turn back to base shortly before losing contact with air traffic control, according to a spokesman for Indonesia’s air navigation authorities.

Investigators will attempt to recover the craft’s so-called black boxes – secure devices that record flight data and voices in the cockpit.

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Kamil Ridwan, the governor of West Java, said on twitter that he hoped the search and rescue operation would proceed “quickly and smoothly”, adding: “Hopefully the families of the passengers who get this disaster can be given fortitude & patience for this accident.”

Search and rescue teams have yet to identfy the exact location of the plane’s hull underwater and operations are expected to continue at the site to recover debris and bodies for at least seven days.

The disaster is the worst accident to affect Lion Air, which was only founded in 1999. The only other fatal incident in its history was in 2004, when one of its aircraft crashed during landing, killing 25 of the 163 people on board.

A string of deadly crashes have left Indonesia with one of the worst reputations for safety in the world. The country’s airlines were only removed from the European Union’s blacklist in June, and have also in the past been banned from American airspace as well.

Australia’s foreign affairs ministry has instructed all government officials from the country to avoid flying on Lion Air or its subsidiary airlines after the disaster. The statement posted on the ministry’s website said the decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear.

Monday’s crash is the second-worst in the country, after a Garuda Indonesia flight crashed in the city of Medan, killing 214.