More than 20 family and friends together with Air New Zealand and government support teams gathered on Canet Beach this afternoon to remember the five New Zealanders and two German pilots tragically lost in the Airbus A320 accident last Thursday, 27 November (French time).
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."
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
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