A little heard of airline which operates one of the most unique routes in the world to the remote Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic from an air force base in England is currently hiring cabin crew to work on this quirky flight.
The airline in question is the bizarrely named AirTanker, a privately owned airline that provides a variety of services to Britain’s Ministry of Defence, including air-to-air refuelling, training and passenger transport services.
From its base at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, AirTanker operates the ‘South Atlantic Airbridge’, which connects Britain with the Falkland Islands – a highly contested archipelago, 4,700 square miles in size, which is a British Overseas Territory but claimed by Argentina as Las Malvinas.
Just 3,200 people live on the Falkland Islands, which are around 300 miles from the coast of Argentina but 8,000 miles away from the United Kingdom.
Due to its remote location, there are only two main ways to get to the islands. There’s either a once-a-week flight from Santiago de Chile with LATAM Airlines or a twice-weekly service from RAF Brize Norton with AirTanker aboard a Voyager aircraft – a special military version of the Airbus A330 aircraft.
The flight leaves Brize Norton every Sunday and Wednesday and arrives at Mount Pleasant Airport around 18 hours later. Because the flight is so long, the aircraft has to stop to refuel – which for the past couple of years has been done in Cape Verde off the coast of Africa.
Later this year, however, the stopover will take place on Ascension Island, an equally remote British territory which is mid-way between Brazil and Africa in the Atlantic.
AirTranker carries both military & civilian passengers on its flights from Brize Norton, although passengers can’t book tickets online or search websites like Expedia for tickets. Instead, would-be visitors must contact the Falkland Islands Government Office in Whitehall, London, via email or even by post.
The Falkland Island government admits that most tourists get to the islands via Chile.
Famous for its flora and fauna, there is perhaps a much more pleasant way to visit the Falklands, and that’s via cruise ship. According to the local government, more than 40 cruise ships visit the islands during the summer months as part of South American and Antarctic expeditions.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.