Icelandair Flies 6 Hour 767 Flight To Antarctica Ice Runway

With Antarctica’s summer season now well underway, Icelandair has helped transport a team of researchers there. The Icelandic flag carrier used one of its Boeing 767s for the job, flying there from its Reykjavík–Keflavík hub via Oslo and Cape Town. The final leg of the journey took just over six hours, and culminated in an arrival on an ice runway.

Icelandair Boeing 767 Getty
This is not the first time this year that Icelandair has sent a 767 to Antarctica. Photo: Getty Images

A multi-day journey

As spotted by FlightRadar24.com on Facebook, Icelandair has once again flown a group of Norwegian researchers to Antarctica. The journey to the southern tip of the planet took several days, commencing earlier this week on November 15th. This saw the trip’s shortest leg, with Icelandair first flying a Boeing 767 to Norway to pick the researchers up.

According to data from RadarBox.com, all three of the journey’s legs had the same flight number: FI1010. The flight departed Reykjavík–Keflavík at 08:50 on Monday, and reached Oslo Gardermoen Airport just over two hours later, at 12:02 local time. After spending the afternoon on the ground, it took off once again at 16:50 with the researchers onboard.

What followed was the longest leg of Icelandair flight FI1010, taking nearly 13 hours to fly directly to Cape Town, South Africa. The aircraft touched down in the country’s second-largest city at 06:42 the following morning, after 12 hours and 52 minutes in the air.

Icelandair Flies 6 Hour 767 Flight To Antarctica Ice Runway
Icelandair flies a total of four Boeing 767-300ERs. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

The final leg

Of course, the most interesting part of flight FI1010’s journey was the final leg, which took it from South Africa to Antarctica. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that the 767 spent just over two hours on the ground in Cape Town, before taking to the skies once again at 08:47.

As seen in the image below, the aircraft initially flew directly south, before adjusting to a west-southwesterly trajectory. The majority of this leg took place over the waters of the Southern Ocean. According to FlightRadar24.com, the final part of the mammoth journey took six hours and 13 minutes, resulting in the 767 touching down at around 13:00 local time.

Troll Research Station is used to such arrivals. Simple Flying reported earlier this year on a similar journey made by an Icelandair 767. In this instance, the aircraft flew directly from Iceland to South Africa, where it picked the researchers up. The station has an ice runway to support such aircraft, which make for a beautiful sight as they arrive and depart.

FI1010 Flightpath
The aircraft landed on the 3,000-meter ice runway yesterday lunchtime. Image: FlightRadar24.com

Heading back home

Icelandair’s flights to Antarctica play a key role in keeping Troll Research Station running. After all, as Simple Flying explored in March, they also carry provisions for the station’s workers. While Antarctica is a beautiful place, Icelandair didn’t waste any time in bringing its aircraft home. It took off yesterday at 14:45 as FI1011, after under two hours on the ground.

Having reached Cape Town in just over five hours, it was preparing to depart from South Africa at the time of writing. The 21-year-old 767-300ER, which bears the registration TF-ISO, will fly directly back to Iceland, before returning to passenger services. According to FlightRadar24, its first duty will be a return trip to New York JFK tomorrow evening.

What do you make of this special flight? Have you ever flown on one of Icelandair’s Boeing 767s? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

71 Shares: