Air New Zealand will proceed with a proposal to take five next of kin of those lost in the Erebus tragedy to Antarctica for the 30th anniversary on November 28 this year.
Consultation over the proposal put to families of those lost concluded on Wednesday last week and the overwhelming majority of feedback from those who chose to participate was supportive of representatives attending services at Erebus and Scott Base. There was also support for the opportunity for families to leave messages in a capsule adjacent to the memorial cross at Mt Erebus.
Air New Zealand communicated the outcome of the consultation process to the families who chose to take part over the past three days and has begun the process of formally applying to the Government for access to the memorial cross at Mt Erebus.
The composition of the five family representatives going to Antarctica will be three representing the families of customers and one each representing the cabin crew and flight crew.
Also travelling to Antarctica will be the Very Reverend Peter Beck from Christchurch Cathedral to officiate the services, a representative of the Government, Air New Zealand General Manager Airline Operations and Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan and two representatives of Television New Zealand to broadcast and document on video the event ceremonies so they can be shared with the families of all those lost on Erebus. Other news media will be given open access to this material.
Air New Zealand will also hold services in Auckland and Christchurch to mark both the 30th anniversary of Erebus and the first anniversary of the A320 accident in Perpignan off the coast of France on November 28. An Erebus anniversary service also will be held at the memorial garden at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe will speak directly about lessons learned from the Erebus tragedy and the way in which the airline interacted with the families in the aftermath of the accident at the unveiling of a sculpture at the airline's head office on October 23 and again at the service in Auckland on November 28.
The sculpture titled Momentum is by Christchurch artist Phil Price and will act as a focal point to reflect on all the significant milestones in Air New Zealand's history - from the induction of new aircraft types and opening new routes to tragedies like the air accidents on Mt Erebus and at Perpignan. The sculpture, whose movement will be powered by the wind, is an interaction between physical and environmental elements and is a reminder of the fragile nature of flight and the dynamics of forces at play.
Air New Zealand is asking families who would like to have a message for a loved one left at Antarctica to submit it to either of the following address options by Thursday, November 12, 2009.
Air New Zealand
Private Bag 92007
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs, phone 09 336 2761
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