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Air New Zealand has confirmed one of its A320 airbuses has crashed in the Mediterranean.
It is understood seven people were on board, including possibly up to five Air New Zealand employees.
Two bodies have reportedly been recovered.
The airline says the aircraft was on lease to a European based company and was being operated by the leasee.
The plane crashed into the sea as it was approaching the airport at Perpignan, where it had been undergoing maintenance.
The A-320 was leased by Air New Zealand to German carrier XL Airways.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe says it was due to return to service with Air New Zealand next month.
"Naturally, this is an extremely difficult time for us all and the full resources of the airline are being put into investigating what may have happened and providing support to our people and their families,” Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said in a statement this morning.