AirAsia Flight 8501 is missing after travelling from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. AirAsia Flight 8501 lost contact with air traffic control in Indonesia, said the airline said today.

Flight QZ 8501 flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore and reportedly lost contact with air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. Sunday (7:24 p.m. Saturday ET), according to a tweet from the Malaysia-based AirAsia .

According to Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa, AirAsia Flight 8501 lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at approximately 6.17am local time.

He added that AirAsia Flight 8501 had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact with air traffic control, according to Sky News.

Indonesian media said more than 160 people were on the Airbus A320-200, reports the BBC.

Of the passengers on the now missing AirAsia Flight 8501, there were six foreigners, three from South Korea and one each from the UK Malaysia and Singapore. The rest of the passengers on board the missing plane were Indonesian.

AirAsia Flight 8501 was supposed to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 (00:30GMT).

Mustofa told local media the AirAsia Flight 8501 lost contact over the Java Sea, between Kalimantan and Java islands.

Meanwhile, the company has not given any other details about the missing AirAsia Flight 8501.

In a Facebook statement, AirAsia's said: "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 0724hrs this morning."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the statement continued.

"The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," concluded the company regarding the search for the missing AirAsia Flight 8501.

Meanwhile, experts are trying to come up with reasonable explanations as to how the plane disappeared.

According to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam, bad weather might have resulted in the disappearance of AirAsia Flight 8501.

"We still had lines of very heavy thunderstorms" when the plane was flying, he said. "But keep in mind, turbulence doesn't necessarily bring down airplanes."

Earlier this year, Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia's national carrier, has already suffered two disasters - flights MH370 and MH17. However, AirAsia has never lost a plane until now.

MH370 went missing in March with 239 passengers and crew while going to Beijing from Jakarta. Searchers have not yet found any debris from the flight. Officials believe it to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, the MH17 disaster occurred in July when the passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board.

AirAsia is popular mas a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries, CNN reports.

The airline reportedly has a "very good" reputation for safety, according to CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest.

Search and rescue operations are under way for the missing AirAsia Flight 8501 aircraft. The company has also set up an emergency line for family or friends of those on board the plane. The hotline is +622 129 850 801.