Indonesian officials have confirmed that bodies and debris found in the Java Sea off Borneo are from AirAsia flight QZ8501 that went missing on Sunday, a statement by AirAsia says.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said he was “devastated” by the news.
President Joko Widodo told media he had instructed all search teams to focus on finding the passengers and crew.
The Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, disappeared on Sunday.
The navy said 40 bodies have been recovered, though other officials have given much smaller figures.
The discovery came on the third day of searching. A navy spokesman said rescuers were “very busy now” with the salvage operation.
‘Families are priority’
The AirAsia statement said the remains were found in the Karimata Strait, south west of Pangkalan Bun in the Borneo province of Central Kalimantan.
Mr Fernandes said: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those on board QZ8501.”
The statement said family members would be assigned care providers and an emergency call centre set up for those seeking information.