16 Feb 2011

More Erebus families to visit Antarctica

5:13 am on 16 February 2011

More than 100 people who lost family members in the Erebus disaster will visit Antarctica on Wednesday.

Some 257 people died after an Air New Zealand plane crashed into Mt Erebus on 29 November 1979.

Families of the victims were taken to the ice for the first time in 2009, as part of the 30th anniversary of the deaths on Flight TE901. The airline promised then to take more relatives.

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe says originally it was thought only 80 family members could go, but that number has increased to 104.

They will leave from Christchurch, spend five hours at Scott Base including attending a memorial service, and return to New Zealand in the evening.