The Boeing 747 of the ACT airlines crashed into homes near Manas airport, about 25km (15 miles) north of the capital, Bishkek, the healthcare ministry said.
A number of children are reported to have been among those killed.
The flight was heading to Manas from Hong Kong, en route to Istanbul, when it crashed.
It happened at around 07:30 local time (01:30 GMT).
Visibility was poor because of thick fog at the time, but the cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed.
Images on social media purporting to be of the crash site show fire and smoke rising from the rubble of destroyed buildings.
Emergency services are at the scene. Local media are reporting that a number of senior government officials are also there.