Air New Zealand can confirm that French search and rescue divers have found a third body and the cockpit of the A320.
Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims says the past 12 hours have seen many developments in France.
"It has been an extremely moving day for the next of kin who have travelled to France and our own people on site. Our lost men were remembered in a ceremony on the beach at Perpignan before the families went on boats to the site of the accident to pay their respects. Obviously, it was an extremely moving time for everyone and many tears and much emotion was shared. In a uniquely Air New Zealand tribute to the lost men, the airline's own haka was performed at the accident site by our Cultural Ambassador Andrew Baker," Mr Sims says.
"Also during the day divers have located the cockpit and found a body nearby. The flight data recorder was also retrieved and it is now clear both it and the cockpit voice recorder have been badly damaged. These will be sent to manufacturer Honeywell in North America to determine what data can be extracted."
Mr Sims says French authorities have made it clear that they intend to continue the search and recovery operation until all bodies are found.
"We cannot speak highly enough of the French authorities and the efforts they are putting into this operation. Although it is now night time in France, divers continue their search and despite a deteriorating forecast will continue to do so over the next few days."
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs
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