At 4.46pm, the time of the accident exactly one week ago, the group held a private ceremony on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe and Air New Zealand Cultural Ambassador Andrew Baker made speeches in English and Maori talking about the men and what they meant to those gathered.

Earlier in the afternoon family and friends of Air New Zealand engineer Michael Gyles and CAA inspector Jeremy Cook, visited the accident site on Coastguard vessels.

Flowers were scattered onto the surface of the Mediterranean by family members as they paid their respects.

"The afternoon has been an emotional but important occasion for the group," says Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe.

"For the first time, everyone who has travelled to Perpignan has been able to join together on Canet Beach to remember their loved ones.

We have all been deeply touched by the support we have received from the local community and have expressed our gratitude to the French authorities for their continued focus on the recovery and investigation efforts."


Ends

Air New Zealand staff will be able to pay their respects to their lost colleagues through a minute's silence across the network globally on Friday at 0900 (New Zealand time).


Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs, Ph 09 336 2761

 

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.