A salvage vessel carrying the bodies of 104 people who died in the 2009 Air France plane crash has docked in the south-western French port city of Bayonne.
Now begins the lengthy process of identification using DNA together with medical and dental records.
Relatives of the 228 victims of the doomed flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris have been divided over whether to retrieve their loved ones’ bodies or leave them on the sea bed.
John Clemes who runs a families’ support group said “It’s been quite remarkable that they have been able to find the plane, find the black boxes, exploit them, find then what happened and recover the bodies”.
In what has been an emotional few weeks for families, data from the flight recorders showed how pilots lost control for four minutes before the jetliner crashed into the ocean.
Some 50 bodies and several parts of the plane were removed from the water in the days following the crash.
It has taken a further two years of intensive searching to find additional remains.