“We are not sure what happened to the plane yet and we are coordinating with local authorities,” rescue agency chief Bambang Soelystyo told AFP.
“The weather is currently very bad there, it’s very dark and cloudy. It’s not conducive for a search. The area is mountainous,” he added.
An anonymous source in a provincial air carrier, cited by RIA Novosti news agency, claims the plane has crashed into a mountain, killing everyone on board. There has been no confirmation of this report so far.
The flight TGN267, an ATR 42 short-range airliner, was going from Sentani to Oksibil, both in Papua, and was supposed to only take 50 minutes.
The aircraft was carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew members, the agency also tweeted.
The ownership record of the missing aircraft available at Planespotters.com shows that it is almost 25 years old.
The agency has tweeted that they are beginning the search, while conflicting media reports suggest that the search for the plane will be delayed until Monday due to poor weather.
Flight TGN267 was not equipped with an Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system, which makes tracking the aircraft difficult.
Indonesia’s president pledged to review the country’s aging air force in July, following a military plane crash that left over 100 people dead.