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25 Feb 2018 10:44
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    Air NZ films safety video in Antarctica

    A decision by Air New Zealand to make a safety video in Antarctica, where 257 people died when one of its planes crashed in 1979, has sparked mixed reactions.

    Air New Zealand
    Air New Zealand

    Air New Zealand is defending its decision to make a safety video in Antarctica where 257 people died when one of its aircraft crashed 38 years ago.

    The airline announced on Sunday its next safety video, due for release in March, will highlight the importance of Antarctica in understanding global climate change.

    Air NZ's safety videos are famously edgy, collecting more than 110 million views online plus coverage by news outlets.

    On November 28, 1979, Air NZ flight 901, a DC-10, crashed into Mt Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, instantly killing all 257 people on board.

    Nicholas Bennett, who was aged six when his father died in the disaster, told NZME it was not appropriate to film a safety video in Antarctica.

    "No matter how they spin it, it's very disrespectful."

    Pat Gilberd, who lost her father in the crash, also told Radio NZ the idea should be canned.

    "I think it's very inappropriate considering that's I think the worst crash Air NZ's ever had, I can't understand why they would choose that as a place."

    Air NZ has countered the criticism by passing on supportive comments from other family members.

    David Morgan, the airline's chief pilot, said the airline had a long-term partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute - a collaboration which was supporting important scientific and environmental research.

    "Our safety videos have a global following and we hope this video and the supporting campaign material will help to put a global spotlight on the importance of Antarctica in understanding climate change, and the critical research being carried out there," he said.

    The airline has contacted family representatives of those lost in the Mt Erebus tragedy to advise of the decision to film the video in Antarctica and the rationale behind it.

    Family members will receive a copy of the video before its public release.

    "We have received several positive responses from family members we have communicated with," he said.

    In the positive comments passed on by Air NZ one unnamed family member said: "Thank you for the heads up regarding the new safety video. I think it is fantastic that such a special place is being shared with others and I am sure it will be fine, tastefully taking into regard the sensitivities surrounding Mt Erebus."

    Mr Morgan said Mt Erebus and any crash memorial sites would not be featured in the footage.

    "We have also been careful to ensure the video will be tasteful in its delivery," he said.

    "We certainly empathise with the perspective of any family member who is unhappy with this news."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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