A Brisbane couple killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down have now been identified.

An Australian couple who died on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have been formally identified.

Howard and Susan Horder, both 63, from Brisbane had been travelling in Europe and were among the 298 killed when the aircraft was shot down by a suspected missile over the rebel-held area of eastern Ukraine.

Up to 39 Australian citizens and residents were aboard the aircraft.

In a brief statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, members of the Horder family said they were relieved that Howard and Susan had been identified.

They said they wished to thank all those who helped in this process.

“We look forward to Howard and Susan coming home so that we can lay them to rest peacefully. Our thoughts are also with all those affected by this tragedy and we extend our deepest condolences to all the other families,” they said.

The couple had three sons living in Melbourne, the Sunshine Coast and London.