Air New Zealand is Taking Some Planes on Down to Antarctica
We heard Qantas was doing something like this, and now Air New Zealand is joining in on the fun. The carrier is getting ready to start some new flights over to Antarctica, but these planes will actually be landing on the snow and ice. These flights won’t just be for sightseeing, as Air New Zealand wants to determine how feasible it is to run flights to and from Antarctica.
The thought is that scientists and researchers need to get to Antarctica, so it makes sense for Air New Zealand to get them there. Usually the Air Force takes care of these flights, but soon you might just be ordering a nice refreshing selection from the beverage cart before coming in for a landing.
Right now the plan is to use Boeing 767-300s from Auckland to check out the feasibility—and possibility—of running charter flights over to a runway near McMurdo Station. The flights would probably just be for scientists, researchers, and other support staff, so don’t start planning your Antarctica flight just yet.
One of the best features of this new idea is that the Boeing 767s can hold a lot of jet fuel, and that means they can make the return journey without filling up on the ground. As you can imagine it’s pretty pricey at the pump down in Antarctica—ha.
[Photo: Aero Icarus]