Monday, June 15, 2009

AF flight 447 Rio/Paris:

How Air France is providing support to relatives and friends

Paris, 15 June 2009 - 17:07 local time

Flight AF 447 was carrying 228 passengers and crew of 32 different nationalities. The expectations of the many relatives and friends are varied. They are legitimately demanding information and transparency, even though the circumstances of this tragedy are slowing the progress of the investigation and Air France itself is unable to obtain all the necessary information, which is collected and centralized by the French and Brazilian authorities.

Air France teams took action from the very beginning to meet the needs of the bereaved. Air France has done everything it can to assist relatives and friends and is also aware of the difficulties that can be met in certain cases.

The following measures have been introduced:

  • A toll-free number was set up to handle calls 24/7. This toll-free number was available until all families had been contacted.
  • Those who wished were provided with accommodation at hotels in Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Rio, with Air France paying all expenses.
  • A telephone information centre is available for relatives. There are different phone numbers depending on the language spoken. The centre provides all necessary information, including legal details, insurance, medical and psychological support, etc. It takes care of their travel needs and accommodation. To date, there are one to ten contacts per passenger.
  • In addition to the information centre, a permanent group has been set up to ensure long-term assistance to relatives and friends. This group includes staff with the skills needed in all areas concerned.
  • In Brazil, a specific local structure has been set up. At all other Air France-KLM destinations worldwide, a special correspondent has been designated to ensure local contact.
  • The French State has asked the INAVEM (National Institute of Assistance to Victims) to assist families.
  • Procedures are underway to determine the victims' heirs. Air France will apply international law and regulations.

Air France's crisis centre has a permanent pool of 4,000 volunteers to provide local assistance and family support, in addition to the operational measures. Finally, all Air France divisions are providing support in any way they can.

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