Lion Air's admission that the jet had a technical issue on a previous flight -- as well its abrupt fatal dive -- have raised questions about whether it had mechanical faults such as a speed-and-altitude system malfunction.
The accident has also resurrected concerns about Indonesia's poor air safety record which until recently saw its carriers facing years-long bans from entering European Union and US airspace.
Indonesia has had nearly 40 fatal aviation accidents in the past 15 years, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
Lion Air, Indonesia's biggest budget carrier, has been involved in a number of incidents including a fatal 2004 crash.
In 2014, an AirAsia crash in the Java Sea during stormy weather killed 162 people.
The worst disaster in Indonesia's aviation history left 234 dead in 1997 when an Airbus A-300B4 operated by national carrier Garuda Indonesia crashed in a smog-shrouded ravine in North Sumatra, just short of the airport.
Jakarta, Indonesia | AFP