Air NZ to discuss more Erebus flights

Air New Zealand says it will discuss with the Government and Antarctica New Zealand whether more relatives of the Mt Erebus crash victims can travel to the accident scene.

The weekend visit by six family representatives to Antarctica on the 30th anniversary of the Air New Zealand DC10 crash, which claimed 257 lives, had demonstrated such an opportunity could help with the healing and grieving process, Air NZ general manager airline operations and safety David Morgan said today.

Mr Morgan, who was on the Antarctic trip at the weekend, said the message from families the airline had spoken to over the past few months was that they were keen to go to Antarctica and visit the the crash scene if weather permitted - something which could not be achieved at the weekend.

Mr Morgan said the final decision on whether more relatives could go rested with the Government and Antarctica New Zealand.

"If their view is that further trips are not practical, we will turn our attention to discussing with Government the opportunity for family representatives to fly over Antarctica.

"Just like this first trip for six family representatives, it remains our firm view that those who lost loved ones should not have to pay to see the environment that had such an impact on their lives."

Mr Morgan said given Air NZ no longer flew to to Antarctica, an option possibly open to the Government was the Royal New Zealand Air Force's Boeing 757s.

On Saturday, a memorial service was held at Scott Base to mark the 30th anniversary of the crash.

The flight which took family representatives down to Antarctica was due to land back in New Zealand tonight.

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