John Key would like to see the families of those killed in the Erebus disaster get the chance to visit the crash site, and the Government could play a role in getting them there.
The Prime Minister said yesterday he believed the victims' relatives deserved the opportunity to go to Antarctica, "and probably in something that is a little bit better than just a flyover.
"And the Government will look at that in the future."
A representative of victims' families travelling to Antarctica for tomorrow's 30th anniversary of the disaster said controversy over a charter flight must not be allowed to overshadow the trip.
Eric Houghton, whose father John was on the flight, is concerned the timing of a proposal by businessman Mike Pero to charter a flight to Antarctica in January will detract from the memory of the 257 people who died in the 1979 disaster.
After criticism from Air New Zealand and victims' families, Mr Pero's proposal is now on hold because of issues with Qantas, the supplier of the aircraft.
Mr Houghton told the Herald he believed the timing of Mr Pero's flight was "quite cynical".
"I don't think that was the right time for him suggesting his flight. I personally am not in favour of it, but that doesn't mean that others might not get something out of it."
Mr Houghton is one of six people who lost loved ones in the Erebus disaster and have been selected to travel to Antarctica for official commemorations on the mountain and at Scott Base.
With only limited space available through Air New Zealand and Antarctica New Zealand for tomorrow's commemorations, Mr Pero had offered those families who missed out a chance to buy a seat on the charter flight for $1400 to $8600.
Air New Zealand said the plan was "opportunistic", and timed to cash in on the tragedy, and it was concerned about lack of consultation with the families.
Mr Houghton said it was simply a distraction from the 30th anniversary "which we don't really need".
Mr Key yesterday said he had been offered a spot on Mr Pero's charter flight, by text.
Mr Pero said he was looking to take a Qantas A380 to the ice in January and had asked if he was interested in going.
"I went back to him in the second text message and said that might be a possibility."
Further details of the trip were promised, but never eventuated.
"From our perspective if the Government is going to organise a major trip to Antarctica beyond what has been arranged for the 30th anniversary we would do it with Air New Zealand.
Mr Pero late yesterday said careful consideration had been given to the charter, and it was not a public relations stunt.
"If I have offended anyone please accept this as my most sincere apologies - I was just trying to help."
He said the plan was "for want of a better word, on ice".By Audrey Young Email Audrey, Jarrod Booker Email Jarrod