Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims says there are already fourteen family and friends in France and a further seven will arrive tomorrow. (NZT)

"All the family and friends are being supported by representatives of the airline's highly trained Special Assistance Team of Air New Zealanders. Everyone will be staying in the same hotel and Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe is personally meeting with them all and we are providing them with the latest information as it comes in from search teams," Mr Sims says.

"The Air New Zealand team on the ground in Perpignan includes representatives from the airline's emergency response team, security, operational safety, A320 fleet and communications divisions. There are also senior delegates from the New Zealand Police, NZ Airline Pilots Association and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission."

Mr Sims says Air New Zealand's airline operations staff on the ground in Perpignan are world leaders in their fields and are on hand to provide specialist technical support to French authorities if required during the investigation process.

"Meantime, it is important to note that over the coming days there will be limited information that Air New Zealand will be able to release on the search as the formal investigative process is now underway. This will see our ability to communicate developments increasingly constrained under local law."


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 and for more information about Star Alliance visit