Lion Air flight JT610, an almost new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route from the capital to Pangkal Pinang, centre of the Bangka-Belitung tin mining region.
The jet vanished from radar just 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, plunging into the ocean.
Video footage apparently filmed at the scene of the crash showed a slick of fuel on the surface of the water.
Rescue officials said they had recovered human remains from the crash site, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) off the coast.
Families are being told to go to a hospital to identify the dead.
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 workhorse single-aisle jet.
Privately owned Lion Air said the aircraft had been in operation since August, was airworthy, with its pilot and co-pilot together having accumulated 11,000 hours of flying time. SHARE THIS STORY USING ANY OF THE BUTTON BELOW ⬇ PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW ⬇⬇⬇