A Christchurch father-of-two has died during a flight to Dubai, where he was set to stop over ahead of a long-awaited holiday with his family.
Simon Gilby, his wife Helen and their children Chloe and Angus were flying to see his family in the UK when the tragedy struck.
Mr Gilby passed away on March 18.
His cause of death is unknown.
In a family statement Ms Gilby says "Simon was my soulmate and he was an amazing, devoted, loving father to our young children.
"I am beyond grateful for the love and support we have been given."
A family spokesperson says "The Gilby family are grieving in private at the moment and working through processes with the Dubai authorities.
"Simon was a much loved family man who was well respected by all who knew him.
"Helen has been blown away by the amount of support they have received from everyone during this devastating time."
An Emirates spokesperson said in the statement they could confirm Mr Gilby's death on Emirates flight EK413 on March 18.
"On arrival in Dubai the flight was met by medical services who confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away. Emirates offers sincere condolences to the family and is providing them with support and assistance."
A Givealittle page has been set up to provide financial support to his family over the coming months.
The page, set up by a friend of Ms Gilby, says it was a long-awaited trip to visit family in the UK.
"They were excited and happy - but sadly, they didn't make it to the UK. On the way to their stopover in Dubai, Simon passed away," the Givealittle page reads.