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.

Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs

 

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.