Passenger Plane Lands in Antarctica

Marks first commercial flight to continent

This test flight opens up the possibility for safer, more convenient passage for those who wish to visit Antarctica. (Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions)

A commercial Boeing 757 flown by Icelandic Airlines landed at Union Glacier, Antarctica, last Thursday. It was the first commercial flight to the continent, according to a press release from tourism company Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). ALE said the flight was “undertaken to prove the feasibility of landing commercial passenger airliners at Union Glacier.”

Union Glacier has served as a runway for many years, with the ALE transporting between 400 and 500 passengers each season. But those flights were mostly made by cargo aircraft, and the passengers were primarily there to focus on research projects, Australia’s Traveller reports

Tourists who wish to travel to Antarctica have traditionally arrived by boat through the Southern Ocean, departing from South Africa, Chile, or, in some cases, New Zealand. 

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