The search for survivors on board a plane which vanished over the Atlantic will continue after the airline confirmed five Britons were among the passengers.
One of the British passengers is believed to be Arthur Coakley, from Whitby, North Yorkshire, whose wife Patricia spoke to him as he waited for his flight to be called.
Three Irish women, all in their mid 20s, were also on the Air France Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, and were named locally as Aisling Butler, of Roscrea, Co Tipperary, Jane Deasy of Dublin and Eithne Walls, originally from Belfast.
The three best friends, who were forging out promising careers as doctors, were returning home after a holiday in Brazil with other friends who graduated with them from Trinity College Dublin two years ago. A Welsh woman was also among the group of friends.
A total of 228 people were on board the flight, including 12 crew, a baby and seven children. The passenger list of 216 people included 61 French, 58 Brazilians and 26 Germans, among the 32 nationalities. The crew were all French.
The airline said the list was based on information from the Brazilian authorities, adding: "Air France expresses its deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew who were on board this flight. Air France is doing its utmost to provide support to relatives and friends: counselling with physicians and psychologists as well as specially trained Air France volunteers has been set up at the airports of Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2 and Rio de Janeiro."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who met some of the families of those on board the plane at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, said: "I told them the truth. The prospects of finding survivors are very small."
The aircraft had run into stormy weather with strong turbulence around four hours into the flight. About 15 minutes after the turbulence message, an automatic message was received from the plane - AF447 - indicating a failure in the electrical circuit.
Air France said the plane, whose wings were made in Britain by Airbus A340, could have been struck by lightning.
Aviation experts said turbulence and electrical problems were most unlikely to bring down a large passenger plane, while aircraft were well protected against lightning strikes. But they pointed to turbulence as the cause of a BOAC (later British Airways) crash in Japan in 1966 and to an electrical problem leading to a catastrophic fire which resulted in a Swissair plane going down off Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1998 with the loss of 229 lives.