A Boeing 787 has become the largest passenger aircraft to land on Antarctica’s “blue ice runway”. The flight operated by Norse Atlantic Airways and named Everglades landed at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica on Wednesday. According to CNN, this is the first time a Dreamliner, a widebody aircraft which can carry up to 330 passengers, has made it to the sixth continent. “A historic moment for Norse! The first ever @BoeingAirplanes B787 Dreamliner to land in Antarctica! We are incredibly honoured to be a part of this piece of history, marking a very special milestone for Norse,” the airlines said in a social media post.
“Largest aircraft ever to land on #TrollAirfield! ‘This demonstrates our capability of performing more effective flight operations to #Antarctica by carrying a larger scientific/logistics crew, more cargo with a smaller environmental footprint,’ says NPI-director, Camilla Brekke,” tweeted Norwegian Polar Institute along with a video of the airplane landing.
Watch the video below:
Largest aircraft ever to land on #TrollAirfield!
“This demonstrates our capability of performing more effective flight operations to #Antarctica by carrying a larger scientific/logistics crew, more cargo with a smaller environmental footprint”, says NPI-director, Camilla Brekke, pic.twitter.com/7vjsSw0gPI
— Norsk Polarinstitutt // Norwegian Polar Institute (@NorskPolar) November 16, 2023
According to a press release, the airline said that the Dreamliner’s mission was to take “essential research equipment and scientists to the remote Troll research station in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica”. Overall there were 45 passengers, including scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute, on board the flight, which also transported 12 tons of research equipment essential for Antarctic exploration.
Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO of Norse Atlantic Airways, expressed immense pride and honour in achieving this historic milestone. “It is a great honour and excitement on behalf of the entire team Norse that we have achieved together a momentous moment of landing the first 787 Dreamliner. In the spirit of exploration, we are proud to have a hand in this important and unique mission. It is a true testament to our highly trained and skilled pilots and crew, and our state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft,” he said in a statement.
According to the press note, the flight took off from Oslo on Monday and made a stop in Cape Town, before embarking on the challenging Antarctic leg. The Dreamliner was able to make a round-trip flight from Cape Town to Antarctica without needing to refuel, Norse Atlantic said. The flight landed on Wednesday on a “blue ice runway” that’s nearly 2 miles long (3,000 meters) and 200 feet wide (60 meters).
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