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Flights Over The N/S Pole  
User currently offlineGotAirbus From Singapore, joined May 2001, 851 posts, RR: 1
Posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3094 times:

I was just wondering whether any airlines are flying over either the (north/south) poles. I asked this because it's been almost a period of time since I've heard airlines (Qantas being the last plane that I saw that flew over "ice") that flew over.

-Can you give me information on the routes (if any) that goes over the poles.

-Does it actually cut flying time flying over the artic?

-What aircraft..


P.S.: I don't think any civil airliners ever flew over Antartica...is there?

(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDesmidus From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3064 times:

I could've sworn now that I saw an Airbus A340 ad somewhere that said something about it being the only airliner that had a route over Antarctica, but I'm probably mistaken.

User currently offlineYossarian From Zambia, joined May 2001, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

Cathay Pacific go North over the Arctic to the US, I think. Not sure of the type.

It is certainly shorter but not without its hazards. Lack of suitable enroute alternates, very high radiation levels etc.

I can't think of anyone venturing over the Antarctic in a civil jetliner, although Air New Zealand used to do scenic trips down there until one flight met with a tragic accident.

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Has somebody ever thought about the following: if you head to e.g. the South Pole with a heading of 180, and fly over it, than suddenly your heading changes to 360. Does anybody know how this change in course is managed (for instance by FMS, or the autopilot), to make sure that the aircraft doesn't start turning circles above the South Pole?


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineSushka From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 4784 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3014 times:

Try it on Flightsim to see if you go in circles!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
User currently offlineRyu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2992 times:

Polar flights don't fly directly over the pole for precisely this reason. Look at the routings of flights like JFK-HKG, etc -- they come close to the pole but never over it.

User currently offlineKing767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2988 times:

Delta is looking at JFK- Beijing flights, they already performed a test flight with a 777.


User currently offlineHadpa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2990 times:

Come on! Until a month ago Aerolineas Argentinas operated the Buenos Aires- Auckland - Sydney route,in an A-340 which crossed the South Pole! Also I think that Qantas also operates this route.
And this route was first operated by the greatest south american airline LANCHILE! with a mighty 707 from Punta Arenas to Sydney


User currently offlineBragi From Iceland, joined May 2001, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2979 times:

Continental has begun direct service from Newark to Hong Kong (Airways magazine) with B-777. They won´t however fly directly over the north pole.

Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6828 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

Aircraft going near the north pole do not use the magnetic compass as it is unreliable. The magnetic north pole is quite a distance from the geograhic north pole.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8988 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

Continental has gotten extremely close to the North Pole. In Airways it said they passed the 89th latitude, which is 60 nm from the North Pole, which is about 7 minutes flying time from the 90th latitude, better known as the North Pole.


User currently offlineB744 From New Zealand, joined Dec 1999, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2934 times:


The Aerolineas flight from Buenos Aires to Auckland (via Rio Galegos) doesn't go over the south pole. I've flown this route a couple of times and both times, we were down close to the ice shelf where icebergs were clearly visible, but no-where near the pole.


User currently offlineEarly Air From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 611 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2932 times:

A lot of airlines fly over the arctics from lax to get to europe and parts of the middle east, and yes, it does cut flying times.

Early Air

User currently offlineAerosales From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

I understand UAL are flying revenue service ORD-HKG with 747-400 on the polar routings which are not directly over the pole but give time savings to the "standard" routings. AAL have also done route proving over the top w/777 again ORD-HKG

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7092 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2920 times:

...is 10333 km direct and 12051 km via the South Pole, so a routing over the pole seems unlikely.

Far as I know LAN Chile has never scheduled a flight west of Tahiti; does anyone know better?

User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (14 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2915 times:

I happened to fly yesterday on a Cargo 747 from Fairbanks to Prestwick. We went north until 82 degree latitude. Even though we didn't pass the geographic North Pole, we flew over the magnetic North Pole, so that the magnetic compass suddenly turned from 360 to 180 while the FMS still showed a northerly heading. Was a really interesting phenomenum!

Best regards,


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