Indonesia's transport ministry said late on Friday that the terms of Indonesia AirAsia's licence for the Surabaya-Singapore route permitted flights on four days of the week but not Sundays.
"As of Jan. 2, 2015, the licence of Surabaya-Singapore (return) route to Indonesia AirAsia is temporarily frozen until after there is a result of evaluation and investigation," said spokesman Julius Adravida Barata.
Hadi Mustofa Djuraid, a transport ministry official, told reporters on Friday that authorities were also investigating the possibility that the pilot did not ask for a weather report from the meteorological agency at the time of take-off.
Indonesia AirAsia said in a statement that weather reports were printed in hard copy at the operations control centre at all its flight hubs, including Surabaya, and taken by the pilot to the aircraft before each flight.
An AirAsia spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the pilot had followed the procedure described in the statement.
The Indonesian captain, a former air force fighter pilot, had 6,100 flying hours on the A320 and the plane last underwent maintenance in mid-November, according to Indonesia AirAsia.
On board Flight QZ8501 were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain. The co-pilot was French.