It has been involved in a number of incidents including a fatal 2004 crash and a collision between two Lion Air planes at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. There, rescuers have found floating pieces of clothing, identity cards, luggage and pieces of aircraft at the suspected crash site, where an expanding oil slick and poor weather conditions have hindered diving operations. No official body count has been released.
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said divers had already gone down to check the location from where the signal was picked up by a search and rescue team late on Tuesday but was contending with strong currents.
"We are also trying to find the other black box". This object is placed under water at a depth of 32 meters North-East from Jakarta.
National Police have warned that, as the search for the aircraft's remains continue, identification of the victims is likely to take a long time.
But the narrow-body jet was subsequently cleared for commercial delivery and has had thousands of orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.
It said the engines were a product of a joint venture between US-based General Electric and France's Safran Aircraft Engines.
However, officials said they were confident they were searching in the right area, having found items, such as life jackets, pants and magazines, thought to be from the plane.More news: Asia's imports of Iranian oil in Sep. stand at 1.13m bpd
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- Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia's biggest budget carrier and operates more than 650 daily flights across domestic and global routes.
The messaging app's timestamp showed the video was sent about 35 minutes before the plane took off, said Ayorbaba, who first saw the message at 6:30 am, some 10 minutes after the plane departed, and then went back to sleep.
He said divers also found many pieces of plane debris scattered about, majority small, but they haven't found any large portions of the plane. It began operating in mid-August, according to the airline. He added that the pilot, captain Bhavye Suneja, had carried out all necessary preflight inspections according to procedure.
There is as yet no indication of what caused the crash, though there are reports the aircraft had experienced technical problems on earlier flights.
The accident is the first to be reported involving the widely sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer's single-aisle jet.
Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 were flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade.
The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 plunged into the Java Sea on Monday just 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.