Norse Atlantic Airways has become the first airline ever to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Antarctica after flying from Cape Town, South Africa, down to Troll Research Station on the frozen continent.
The special charter landed on the 3,300-metre-long runway at Troll Airfield at around 2 am on Friday morning following the five-hour flight from Cape Town, following extensive preparations to make the airfield ready for such a large visitor.
The five-year-old aircraft was loaded up with scientists and logistics crew, along with essential equipment and cargo for Troll Research Station, as well as other stations across Antarctica.
The Norwegian scientists started off their journey to Troll on Monday when they boarded the same Norse Atlantic 787 in Oslo for the first 12-hour leg to Cape Town. After staying in South Africa for just over a day, they then made the much shorter hop down to Antarctica.
The scientists are from the Norwegian Polar Institute, who will be hot water drilling through the Fimbulisen Ice Shelf as part of their annual research.
Norse Atlantic markets itself as a low-cost long-haul airline with scheduled services from Europe to the United States, as well as Bangkok, but the carrier has also been hunting down charter opportunities, especially over the winter months when leisure demand across its scheduled route network is typically weaker.
Chief executive Bjørn Tore Larsen is confident that he can make Norse’s primary low-cost long-haul strategy sustainably profitable, but the airline has just appointed independent “strategic advisors to explore and guide the airline’s future strategic directions.”
The appointment comes on the back of two different airlines approaching Norse with potential “industrial opportunities”>
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.