Air New Zealand is now calling for formal expressions of interest from families who lost loved ones in the Erebus tragedy to be included in an independently run ballot for this summer’s remembrance flight to Antarctica.
The Government announced earlier this month that the Royal New Zealand Air Force will fly one of its Boeing 757s to Scott Base this summer season. Up to 80 family representatives of those lost in the tragedy will be able to spend a few hours experiencing the unique environment that drew those on flight TE 901 to it almost 31 years ago.
Air New Zealand is again operating an independent ballot to fill up to 80 seats that will be available on the flight to the immediate families of passengers, cabin crew and flight crew.
The ballot will be drawn by a senior member of the New Zealand Police and overseen by an independent auditor.
Expressions of interest in participating in the ballot need to be received no later than 5pm on 15 September. Those applying will be advised in writing of the outcome of the ballot by the end of September.
Air New Zealand has been working since late last year with the Government, RNZAF and Antarctica New Zealand, as owners of the resources required to support visits to Antarctica, on a further opportunity for family members who lost loved ones on November 28 1979.
The airline wanted to create another opportunity following feedback to the 30th anniversary commemorations last year, which saw six family representatives travel to Antarctica.
At this stage it is expected that family representatives will be able to remain on the ground for several hours at Scott Base, where they will receive a briefing and participate in a memorial service at the Scott Base flagpole. There will also be the laying a Koru capsule mirroring that placed on Mt Erebus during the 30th anniversary commemorations last year.
Families seeking details about how to apply for the ballot should contact Tracey Palmer from Air New Zealand at firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 9 336 3179.
The date for the trip is still to be confirmed, as the team continues to work through a large number of operational details.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 9 336 2761
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