Group General Manager International Airline Manager Ed Sims says the recorder appears to be in a good condition.

"This marks a significant step in the process of understanding what caused this tragic accident. The voice recorder will be sent to Paris tomorrow where it will be dried before the process of extracting the data begins," Mr Sims says.

"French authorities continue to put every effort into the recovery operation. More than 40 divers have been at work for several hours today and are currently taking a break for a couple of hours before returning to the water to continue the search for the flight data recorder."

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Norm Thompson are now in Perpignan together with the family of one of our engineers lost in the accident.

Mr Fyfe has also been accompanied by representatives from the airline's security, safety investigations, A320 fleet and communications divisions. Also travelling with him are representatives from the New Zealand Police, NZ Airline Pilots Association and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

ENDS

Note: Air New Zealand will issue its next media statement around 1500 today.

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.