Gavin Rhodes, 39, his wife Phoumalaysy and their two children, aged three years and 17-months old (above, in a photo released by their family), were killed when the fight QV301 crashed during on its way from the Lao capital of Vientiane to Pakse.

“Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and reportedly crashed into the Mekong River,” the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport has said in a statement.

The Lao government has despatched rescue units in the hope of finding survivors, although it is not expected that anyone will be found.

All 44 passengers are thought to have lost their lives along with five crew members, with a passenger manifest listing their nationalities as Lao (17), French (seven), Australian (six), Thai (five) Korean (three), Vietnamese (two) and one person from Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the USA.