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. Bad weather was reported in the area, and an air search operation has now been suspended for the night. Planes from Indonesia and Singapore had been scouring an area of sea between Kalimantan (Borneo) and Java. Some boats were reported to be continuing to search as night fell. No wreckage has been found, an Indonesian official told the BBC. AirAsia’s Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, who has flown to Surabaya, said: “We don’t want to speculate but right now of course the plane has been missing for 12 hours and there’s a deep sense of depression here .”This is a massive shock to us and we are devastated by what has happened. It’s unbelievable.” He said the captain had more than 20,500 flight hours, almost 7,000 of them with AirAsia. The flight left Surabaya in eastern Java at 05:35 local time (22:35 GMT) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 (00:30 GMT). The missing jet had requested a “deviation” from the flight path to avoid thick storm clouds, AirAsia said. Indonesia’s transport ministry said the pilot had asked permission to climb to 38,000ft (11,000m). Ministry official Djoko Murjatmodjo said the request “could not be approved at that time due to traffic, there was a flight above, and five minutes later [flight QZ8501] disappeared from radar”.