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Arctic And Antarctic Great Circle Routes  
User currently offlineRyaneverest From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

Now that Cathay is beginning to operate the great circle route from Hong Kong to Toronto and Chicago without the need of a technical stop at Anchorage, does anybody know that any other airline is beginning to do this route? I think cities in Scandinavia, like Oslo, Helsinki etc. towards Anchorage or Fairbanks or western USA & Canada could use this route. (The only problem would be passenger load...   )

And, what about the Antarctic great circle route? This might work for any routes between Australia/NZ and South America, perhaps Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Santiago etc.

What's your idea?

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBacardi182 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1091 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3756 times:

Qantas and Aerolineas already operate routes from buenos aires to australia via the south pole  , and i think american airlines is trying to get transpolar routes from chicago and dfw to hong kong. does that help?

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3750 times:

One current problem is air traffic control, particularly over Russian airspace. Recently I have read several newspaper articles on the subject, and these problems are being worked on to help develop the routes in the future.

Also, I believe at this time the CX flights on YYZ-HKG is only exploratory.

ETOPS could also be a problem in the high arctic.

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13273 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3749 times:

CNN has a report in it's travel section (I think) about the new polar routes being opened by Canada(?) and Russia. (I don't know why they said Canada, maybe they meant China? - that's CNN for you). Anyway, apart from not noticing the slight difference between Canada and China*, they did point out that there are very significant time savings on flights, for example between JFK and HKG and DTW and PEK. The time between JFK and HKG would be reduced from 17 to about 12 hours!

(*Of course, you'd notice if there were 1b Chinese north of the border!)

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3743 times:

The polar routes will be opened by Canada and Russia because they fly over the airspace of these two countries.

User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3736 times:

Which AC´s are used by Cathay for these flight´s ? B747, A340 or both ?

User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1844 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3740 times:

Has anyone seen the new Airbus adverts in the glossy magazines (such as the Economist)? They are making a big play of the fact that the A340 can fly over the poles without any ETOPS restrictions. They have an amusing pun about pengiun's not being able to fly (or something like that...).

User currently offlineJWM AIRTRANS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3729 times:

NW DTW-SHA (Pu Dong)

I flew both of tehse direct over the N pole. It rocked!


User currently offlinePedro757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3722 times:

All airlines are allowed to fly over the northpole without restrictions beginning July 1. It was on CNN  

User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3720 times:

As far as I can remember, although Russian airspace has been cleared for most transpolar routes, the real problem lies in the ATC technology and lack of crew training in English. (Russians do take up English as a part of their school education, but the ATC staff need to know fairly fluent English to communicate with Western pilots effectively). The situation is similar in China. Also, Kamchatka and the coastal area around the Sea of Okhotsk are prime military testing areas for stuff like missiles, making it potentially hazardous. Magadan, Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky have major Russian military bases, especially for the air force and naval forces, so I wouldn't surprised if they still do quite a bit of military testing despite cutbacks. Not to mention some restricted airspace for that reason. Canada's not bad, but Ottawa's been a little wary of allowing foreign carriers to overfly the high Canadian Arctic in the past, I believe, and it wants to work out airspace fees, as I've heard. But, still, it's paving the way for more new polar routes.

All this means that it'll take time for transpolar routes to really work to make them profitable enough for airlines. After all, transpolar routes are supposed to save fuel and costs, possibly resulting in lower airfares, according to the airlines.

User currently offlineHagi From Finland, joined Jun 1999, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3697 times:

Finnair used to fly transpolar routes to Japan nonstop from early eighties until early nineties when Russia opened their Siberian airspace for western carriers. They used DC-10s fitted with extra fuel tanks. I don't think any MD-11s made it to that route, but they would probably have covered the distance without any extra fuel tanks. A friend of mine was on their very last polar route and got a special certificate for that.

Do you know if other carriers adopted this route or did they go around the Soviet Union from the south, making a fuel stop somewhere on the way?

- Hagi

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