Air New Zealand has a support team in place in Perpignan, with New Zealand-based staff including Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe en-route to France as search and rescue efforts continue.
Air New Zealand General Manager Europe Scott Carr and a team of seven from the airline's London office arrived in Perpignan early this evening NZT to provide on the ground support to the operation. The team that has arrived in France includes technical and communications staff and members of Air New Zealand's Special Assistance Team.
Mr Fyfe will be accompanied by representatives from the airline's security, safety investigations, A320 fleet and communications divisions. Also travelling on the flight will be representatives from the New Zealand Police, NZ Airline Pilots Association, and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.
Two family members of a missing Air New Zealand staff member are also travelling this evening to Perpignan accompanied by Air New Zealand's Special Assistance team. Flight schedules will be prepared for other family members should they decide to travel to France.
Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims has in the last hour spoken to the head of the search and rescue operation in Perpignan.
The operation had continued through the night, with a total of 150 people involved, using five boats, two helicopters and a light aircraft, he said.
Mr Sims said weather continued to make the search challenging. Thirty divers are being deployed and a minesweeper is searching for black boxes and fuselage.
Mr Sims has also further updated the New Zealand Government on developments.
Mr Sims said the airline continued to receive many messages of condolence and support from the New Zealand public and industry representatives throughout the world.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs
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