View Full Version : Hi Fly land the first Airbus A340 in Antarctica

24th Nov 2021, 12:18
Lovely film and well done.

Join us onboard the first ever Airbus A340 landing in Antarctica. Flight: Hi Fly 801 Commander: Carlos Mirpuri 2 November 2021 Film by Marc Bow / Speedstream Films

Film here..

24th Nov 2021, 18:27
My question is why? Didn't appear in the film that it was a cargo flight so are we now taking tourists to antartica?

Ant T
24th Nov 2021, 19:08
Tourists have been flying into Antarctica since the mid 1980s. Adventure Network (now Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) started taking people in from Punta Arenas, Chile, in a DC4, landing on wheels on glacier ice at a base camp in the Ellsworth Mountains at about 80S. From there they could continue in ski-planes either to mountaineering sites, or wildlife (emperor penguins on the coast), or on to the South Pole. Subsequently they used DC6, then civilian C130 (on wheels, operated by Safair), then Ilyushin 76.

The ice runway that this A340 went to has been in use for around 5 years (I think). In a different area, roughly due South of Cape Town, at the spectacular Fenriskjeften range of mountains. An Icelandic 767 went in there last season, and they regularly have Gulfstream G550 going in there. By arrangement you can fly your own private jet into their strip. Operated by a company called White Desert, their rates for an 8 day stay range between $83,000 and $98,000 per person, depending on excursions. A day-trip can be had for just $14,500!

Ice strip landings are not too bad as long as the weather is suitable. I was doing them with British Antarctic Survey, in a Dash7 into an ice strip at 75S for about 10 years.

Edit - my mistake, the Icelandair 767 last season flew into the ice strip at the Norwegian Antarctic research station, Troll - that is another amazing operation. Think this A340 might be the first really big aircraft they have had into the strip at Wolf’s Jaw (Fenriskjeften).

25th Nov 2021, 08:50
More details


The journey involved flying roughly 2,500 miles in each direction and took a shade over five hours each way. The aircraft spent less than three hours in Antarctica before returning. Hi Fly states that the mission ran as per plan and took even lesser time for the turnaround than initially expected. The flight was operated by Captain Carlos Mirpuri, who is also Hi Fly’s Vice President. The flight brought along tourists, researchers and essential goods to Antarctica.

25th Nov 2021, 10:03
Nice film and good publicity for Hi Fly, which is run by the Mirpuris. It is an interesting company which mainly provides wet lease capacity to other airlines. They did great business covering 787 availability problems. I remember seeing 340s covering Norwegian services over an extended period. People I know who worked for them were pretty positive about what seemed quite an attractive lifestyle, Standby at home and then a few weeks in New Zealand or wherever with plenty of variety. I am sure it would not suit everyone, but certainly worth considering. I think both brothers were on the flight, one is a medical doctor as well if I remember correctly.

25th Nov 2021, 15:18
Yes, a good advert. It would have been interesting to know what breaking was set and ratio of reverse.

25th Nov 2021, 16:29
IL76's been flying to this field for decades - both cargo and tourists.

26th Nov 2021, 07:35
Not properly new for Titan


27th Nov 2021, 00:13
An A319 operated on behalf of Australia's Antarctic Division made its first flight to the the ice on 19th November 2007, Ppruner Compressor Stall has spent time in command.


27th Nov 2021, 07:35
Yeah, nice video but a bit much "we are making history" talk for my taste. Other large aircraft have done this before so to me it's not all that historic just because this time it was an A340. Lot's of "historic" moments still to come: First A330 in Antarctica. First A350. First 787......

27th Nov 2021, 08:07
If you want historic. "Que Sera Sera" was the first to land at the South Pole itself. 31st October 1956. A DC3, ski equipped. Quite an apt name, considering. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VXE-6

27th Nov 2021, 10:03
The crew of the DC-3 (strictly speaking an R4D-5, ex C-47A) were the first humans to set foot on the South Pole since Captain Scott in 1912.

The aircraft survives in the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, on loan from the Smithsonian:


27th Nov 2021, 11:12
You might find the recovery of a Herc some 17 years after it crashed at one of the poles interesting.