The tail, partially buried in the seabed 30 metres underwater, was lifted to the surface by floating balloons, Xinhua reported.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 with 162 people - 155 passengers and seven crew members - went missing soon after taking off from the Indonesian city of Surabaya for Singapore Dec 28.
According to search officials, it seemed that the black boxes, which were stored in the tail of the Airbus A320-200, were not in their place.
"Last night, our divers had opened the door of the tail cabin, searched around but found nothing," an official from Indonesia's seach and rescue agency said.
The agency has also sent divers to locate signals detected Friday around the location where the tail was found on Wednesday. The pings were believed to have been emitted from the black boxes but have not been confirmed.
So far, 46 bodies have been recovered from the sea.