Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 18:31 UK

Passenger nationalities revealed

A news stand in Rio de Janeiro
Many countries had nationals on board the Air France jet

Most of the passengers on board the Air France plane which has disappeared over the Atlantic were Brazilians and French nationals, airline officials said.

Air France confirmed 61 French and 58 Brazilian passengers were among the 216 passengers on board flight 447.

A list provided by Brazil's authorities showed 26 Germans were also on board as well as nine Chinese and nine Italians.

Six Swiss, five British, five Lebanese and four Hungarians were on the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Those on board also included three Irish people, three Norwegians, three Slovaks, two Americans and two Moroccans, as well as individuals from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, the Philippines, The Gambia, Iceland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.

Eleven of the 12 crew members are reported to be French nationals and the other Brazilian.

Three friends

The three Irish passengers - all doctors - were named as Aisling Butler, 26, Jane Deasy, 27, and Eithne Walls, 29, who were friends and had been enjoying a two-week holiday in Brazil.

Aisling Butler
She was a truly wonderful, exciting girl
John Butler, father of Irish passenger Aisling Butler

Aisling Butler's father John paid tribute to his 26-year-old daughter, from Roscrea, County Tipperary.

"She was a truly wonderful, exciting girl," he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

"She never flunked an exam in her life - nailed every one of them - and took it all in her stride."

The two Americans on board were Michael Harris, 60, a geologist in Devon Energy Corp's Rio de Janeiro office, and his wife, Anne, the company confirmed. They had moved from Houston in July.

Canadian Brad Clemes, 49, an executive from Coca-Cola working in Brussels, was also on the flight, a family friend said.

German-based ThyssenKrupp Steel AG said two of its employees were passengers - executive board member Erich Heine and employee Claus-Peter Hellhammer.

French tyre manufacturer Michelin said three of its executives had been passengers. They were Michelin's president for South America, Luiz Roberto Anastacio, 50, Brazilian information systems director Antonio Gueiros and Christine Pieraerts, a 28-year-old French engineer.

Ten employees of French electrical firm CGED were on the plane with their partners after winning a holiday for hitting sales targets, the company said.

Turkish harpist Fatma Ceren Necipoglu was also on the plane, having recently held two recitals at the Fourth Rio Harp Festival, Turkish media report.

The five Britons on the plane included engineer Arthur Coakley, 61, from near Whitby, North Yorkshire.

A direct descendant of the last emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, was on board the plane, a spokesman for the former royal family said. He was named as Prince Pedro Luis de Orleans e Braganca, aged 26.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro's cabinet chief, Marcelo Parente, was also said to be on board, as well as the former head of the Rio municipal theatre's symphony orchestra, Silvio Barbato.

Air France said it was doing its utmost to support relatives and friends, and had set up counselling services at both the French and Brazilian airports.

A special phone line has been set up for relatives and friends.

In France, the number is 0800 800 812. In Brazil, the number is 0800 881 20 20 and for those in other countries the number is 0033 1 57 02 10 55.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific