Earlier, an Indonesia National Search and Rescue spokesman said several pieces of debris seen floating off Borneo might be linked to the missing Flight 8501.
The plane with 162 people on board disappeared on Sunday on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore after encountering storm clouds.
Mr Fernandes, the AirAsia chief executive, said: “My heart is filled with sadness. Words cannot express how sorry I am. On behalf of AirAsia, my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am.”
As the latest news of the search came through, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that the British passenger on board the flight was Choi Chi Man.