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michaelvanv
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North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:08 am

I found this image (link below) a few minutes ago... nice image...captioned "18000ft above Antarctica" by Craig Murray.


That made me wonder... I've heard of flights over the north pole / over the Arctic... I just hadn't ever considered flights over the south pole / Antarctica.

I see, from this forum - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1451857&p=22422829&hilit=antarcticaflights#p22422829- that Qantas looks to be starting flights there this year:

"The World’s Most Unique Scenic Flight" & "Become one of the few to witness the desolate beauty of this untamed polar landscape. Aboard our privately chartered aircraft you will experience unparalleled Antarctic viewing, with up to 4 hours over the white continent. With 19 different routes, no two flights are ever the same. "
source: https://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/

wow... that seems awesome!!!

which leads me to...

I'm curious... returning to aviation before covid, and to which we hope we all soon return...

a) What airlines ever operated any routes over any part of Antarctica... for sightseeing...seems Air New Zealand. Any others?
b) What airlines ever operated any routes over any part of Antarctica... flyovers to arrive somewhere else, presumably some part of South America, or possibly southern Africa?

c) Were any airlines operating any routes that had them regularly (or always) flying over the north pole?



https://www.airliners.net/photo/Qantas/ ... 6x%2BwRjKT

Aircraft
Qantas
Boeing 747-438
Reg.: VH-OJQ
MSN: 25546
Line No.: 924
Location & Date
In Flight
Antarctica - December 28, 1997
Caption
18000ft above Antarctica
Photographer

Craig Murray
6.4K Australia
Contact Craig Murray


Thanks!
 
x1234
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:25 am

North Pole: Standard west-bound traffic ("called trans-polar") from eastern North America to Asia (JFK/EWR/IAD/BOS/YYZ/YUL/ORD-PEK/ICN/HND/NRT/PVG/CAN/HKG/MNL/SIN). Route example: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flig ... 1#2691a4cc
South Pole: SCL/EZE-SYD/AKL/MEL, tickets from South America to Australia/New Zealand are really expensive and Qantas makes a killing on SCL-SYD. LATAM pre-COVID flew SCL-AKL/SYD/MEL. AirNZ pre-COVID was flying AKL-EZE which requires ETOPS 330 on the B772. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXqj0VZbV2I
South Atlantic: GRU-JNB
South Indian Ocean: SYD-JNB, PER-JNB on QF and South African Airways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_a4WGxu62c
 
prebennorholm
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:39 am

michaelvanv wrote:
c) Were any airlines operating any routes that had them regularly (or always) flying over the north pole?

The North Polar Sea including the point 90 deg. N has never been part of the most busy air routes. And the view is rather boring.

On the contrary Greenland is crossed by airial highways with hundreds of daily flights (pre Covid), and a scenery pretty much on par with Antarctica.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:45 am

You might wish to have a read about Air New Zealand, flight 901 and Mount Erebus. It may explain their reluctance to offer sightseeing trips over Antarctica

That said, if you want to visit Antarctica, go at sea level, not 10,000 or more feet. There are plenty of firms that will take you there from the southern tip of South America at a range of budgets. The Qantas flight doesn't offer even a fraction of the experience you get from 4 or 5 days on the ice
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:38 am

It looks like a PER-EZE flight wouldn’t pass too far from the South Pole.
 
yegger
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:16 am

[quote="michaelvanv"]I found this image (link below) a few minutes ago... nice image...captioned "18000ft above Antarctica" by Craig Murray.


c) Were any airlines operating any routes that had them regularly (or always) flying over the north pole?


There have been some flights that have flown directly over the North Pole, likely for the sake of saying they flew over the North Pole...but it is rare. Most commercial flights in that area (normally Eastern North America to/from Asia) route over waypoints DEVID and ABERI which are respectively about 60NM and 150NM south of the Pole.
 
TC957
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:35 am

Jet-lagged wrote:
It looks like a PER-EZE flight wouldn’t pass too far from the South Pole.

Indeed it would but I don't think PER has ever had a service to S America.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:09 am

Antarctica and the Southern Pacific Ocean is the most remote area on earth. There are no diversion airfields, and if a aircraft went down recovery would be almost impossible.

The Arctic is pretty accessible in comparison, with quite a few suitable diversion points in Siberia, northern Canada etc and it is relatively accessible by both air and land. Obviously it is still pretty inhospitable, especially in winter, but Antarctica and the Southern Ocean is on a whole different playing field.

Consider that a flight from Perth to Buenos Aeries would have no viable alternate between Perth and Ushuaia or the Falkland Islands.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:29 am

RyanairGuru wrote:
Consider that a flight from Perth to Buenos Aeries would have no viable alternate between Perth and Ushuaia or the Falkland Islands.


In an emergency situation they could aim for Villa Las Estrellas airport (TNM) as a diversion airport. It's small (runway is only 1292 meters / 4239 feet) long, but at least there is a runway.

Speaking of Villa Las Estrellas, it's the only commercial airport in Antarctica. Aerovias DAP operates charter flights to there from Punta Arenas on a BAe 146. For ordinary civilians, Villa Las Estrellas is as far south as you can get on a plane.
 
B777LRF
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:07 pm

I'm pretty sure there's a rule banning scheduled passenger flights from venturing further south than 60S. As such, any route from Australia to S. America will be taking a somewhat longer routing to avoid breaking that rule.
Signature. You just read one.
 
myki
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:14 pm

I believe that SCL-MEL was LA's longest route
 
mxaxai
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:52 pm

B777LRF wrote:
I'm pretty sure there's a rule banning scheduled passenger flights from venturing further south than 60S. As such, any route from Australia to S. America will be taking a somewhat longer routing to avoid breaking that rule.

There isn't. The only rule is ETOPS.

michaelvanv wrote:
c) Were any airlines operating any routes that had them regularly (or always) flying over the north pole?

There used to be (pre-COVID) occasional sightseeing flights that would take the passengers directly over the north pole. Operators were, for example, Edelweiss Air and Air Berlin.

x1234 wrote:
North Pole: Standard west-bound traffic ("called trans-polar") from eastern North America to Asia (JFK/EWR/IAD/BOS/YYZ/YUL/ORD-PEK/ICN/HND/NRT/PVG/CAN/HKG/MNL/SIN). Route example: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flig ... 1#2691a4cc

For east-bound traffic, though, it's usually more efficient to stay at lower latitudes and take advantage of the (east-bound) jetstream.
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:25 pm

The flight was great and is a once a life experience. I got plenty of pictures, and luckily I got the chance to fly the 747-400ER. NOt everyone have time and health conditions to afford spending days to go there and the sea is really roughy.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:03 pm

Gulf-Iran-Russia-North Pole -US was common route


and even now
https://www.flightradar24.com/BAW28/2697ca16
 
michaelvanv
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:04 pm

I hadn't expected such a quick response... wow.. thank you for those insights, x1234 !

Thanks to that video you shared I also found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S7Bp29zZvE ... insightful, and also quite some humorous comments by its viewers.
 
michaelvanv
Topic Author
Posts: 4
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:05 pm

I hadn't expected such a quick response... wow.. thank you for those insights, x1234 !

Thanks to that video you shared I also found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S7Bp29zZvE ... insightful, and also quite some humorous comments by its viewers.
 
Kent350787
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:29 pm

Yeah, no regular South Polar flights. QF scenic flights have been going for decades, although the one linked by the OP was the first by a twin. I still recall the Mt Erebus accident RIP.

I did BOS-HKG last year, which was trans-polar. IIRC, Japan-Europe flights have also been trans-polar for a long time.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
flyhigh2021
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Re: North Pole / South Pole / Antarctica Routes?

Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:07 pm

That is awesome!

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