RETIRED Ilawarra school teachers Michael and Carol Clancy were on board flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine with the loss of 298 people on board.
Former Albion Park Public School deputy principal Michael Clancy and his wife Carol were listed on the flight's passenger manifest.
The couple had saved up to buy first class tickets for their three-week European trip and had taken the trip to celebrate Mr Clancy's retirement.
Due to his health problems, they had decided to buy first class fares for the long haul flights
"They were ecstatic to be going – it was a very big thing for them to be doing," Mrs Clancy's daughter Jane Malcolm told Fairfax Media's Illawarra Mercury.
"It was such an outlay and an expense because it was so hard for them to travel. When I spoke to mum at the airport, she was just so excited to be going."
‘‘They posted a few pictures of their trip and how much fun they were having, I suppose we won’t get the rest of them.’’
Albion Park Public School students and staff were told on Friday that the couple were believed to be on board the flight.
In a note to parents, principal Glenn Daniels said the school community's thoughts and sympathy were with their family and friends.
When the school had confirmed details, he said they would consider how to pay tribute to the couple.
Friends and colleagues of Mr Clancy said he was an outstanding man and teacher who was much loved by his students.
He retired at the end last year after serving as a teacher and deputy principal for 22 years. Mrs Clancy is also believed to be a teacher.
It is believed the couple were on a retirement holiday.