"The Transportation Ministry is still waiting for the result of an investigation conducted by KNKT. If the crash is caused by the airline company`s errors, we will impose a stern sanction on it in accordance with the law," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The minister also asked Lion Air to conduct a special audit of its Boeing 737-8 Max planes` airworthiness to ensure that their performance could be identified.
"The sanction is based on regulations of different levels including general regulation, special regulation and ministerial regulation," he said.
"Of course, there will be sanction. But to whom the sanction will be addressed still has to be clarified.
The Lion Air plane with flight number JT610 crashed some 15 minutes after take-off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport west of Jakarta on Monday morning.
The aircraft carried 178 adults, three infants, and six crew members, a pilot and a co-pilot.
Reporting by Joko Susilo