First Boeing 757 airliner landing on blue-ice runway in Antarctica
Union Glacier, Antarctica – November 26, 2015
The first ever landing by a commercial Boeing 757 passenger airliner on a blue-ice runway in Antarctica occurred today at Union Glacier. The landing was a joint partnership between Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE), Loftleidir Icelandic, and NAS Corporation Limited (NAS).
The Boeing 757-200 ER flight was undertaken to prove the feasibility of landing commercial passenger airliners at Union Glacier, as part of a larger investigation into the use of such aircraft for ALE’s Antarctic operations.
Intercontinental flights for transporting passengers and cargo from Punta Arenas, Chile, to ALE’s main camp at Union Glacier are usually made by combination passenger/cargo aircraft such as Lockheed Hercules L-382G and Ilyushin IL76-TD. These aircraft are tried and tested for blue-ice landings and for use in polar conditions.
ALE is researching the potential for utilizing conventional passenger airliners in addition to passenger/cargo combination aircraft. The Boeing 757-200 ER, fitted with 62 business class seats, will enhance passenger comfort yet maintain the safety of ALE’s activities and aircraft resources.
ALE transports 400-500 visitors to Antarctica each season on small group Experiences. The majority come to climb Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak; journey to the South Pole; or visit an emperor penguin colony on the remote Weddell Sea coast. In addition to guided experiences, ALE also provides logistical support to many National Antarctic Programs and scientific research projects.
ALE’s goal has always been to deliver once in a lifetime experiences for each guest, while upholding the highest safety and environmental standards. By extending the range of aircraft that can be used to support visitors and scientific research, ALE also expands its evacuation capabilities, further ensuring safe and environmentally responsible operations.
ALE has a long history of aviation firsts in the interior of Antarctica. In 1985, its predecessor, ANI, pioneered private flights to the continent for an ascent of Mount Vinson. The company was the first to establish an inland, blue-ice airfield in Antarctica, the first to land wheeled aircraft on a blue-ice runway, and the first tour operator to fly guests to the Geographic South Pole.
For press inquiries about Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions or Adventure Network International contact:
Marketing & Sales Specialist
Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions
T: +1 801-266-4876
About Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions – With more than 25 years of experience, ALE is the premier provider of land-based Antarctic experiences and logistical services. From its blue-ice runway and base camp at Union Glacier, guests can venture to the summit of Mount Vinson, fly to the South Pole, journey to an emperor penguin colony, or attempt an expedition in the spirit of early explorers. ALE also offers a full range of logistical services to support National Antarctic Programs and deep-field scientific research.
For press inquiries about Loftleidir Icelandic, contact:
SVP Sales and Marketing
About Icelandair – A subsidiary of Icelandair Group, along with 8 other companies in various sectors of the travel industry, it offers consolidated and quality services to airlines and tour operators, such as full charter service, ACMI and AMI leasing, crew leasing, and flight operations.
For press inquiries about NAS Corporation Limited, contact:
T:+44 203 141 0950
About Niche Aviation Solutions – A small private company specialized solely in aviation related subjects. The owners having had experience of owning and operating their own heavy jet airline, now apply their knowledge to assisting others. The owners of NAS have worked with Polar Services and ALE since 1999 assisting with the air bridge to Antarctica. NAS is a Dynamic Niche provider with innovative offerings and customer tailored solutions to some of the most challenging markets in the World.