First commercial jet lands in Antarctica

2nd Dec 2015
Written by: Dave Owen

A Boeing 757 has landed on an Antarctic blue-ice runway

Antarctica is argubly the most difficult destination in the world to visit, and for many travellers it’s the only continent they might never reach. That could all be about to change, as a commercial jet has landed in Antarctica for the first time ever.

The Loftleidir Icelandic airliner touched down on a blue-ice runway at Union Glacier, carrying just under 20 people on board.

Passengers celebrate the passenger jet landing in Antarctica

The landing comes as Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE), which transports small groups of visitors to Antarctica throughout the year, looks “to prove the feasibility of landing commercial passenger airliners at Union Glacier.” At present the company uses a passenger/cargo aircraft combo that is well-tested in polar conditions.

“The Boeing 757-200 ER, fitted with 62 business class seats, will enhance passenger comfort yet maintain the safety of ALE’s activities and aircraft resources,” said a statement from ALE.

So the cost of travelling to the frozen continent might not be coming down too soon, but this at least promises to make the journey easier, and could lead to other providers offering the route. Don’t give up on your Antarctic dream just yet.

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