DALLAS — On November 15, 2023, Norse Atlantic Airways (N0) achieved the first-ever landing of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Antarctica. Landing at Troll Airfield (QAT), the aircraft, designated ‘Everglades’, was a Boeing 787-9 registered LN-FNC.
Together with the Norwegian Polar Institute and Aircontact, Scandinavia’s largest airbroker firm, flight N0787 transported 12 tons of essential research equipment, including 45 scientists, to the remote Troll research station in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.
The historic journey began 48 hours prior to reaching the southernmost continent and the site of the South Pole. On November 13, the aircraft departed from Oslo Airport (OSL) and had a lengthy 40-hour layover in Cape Town (CPT), South Africa. LN-FNC took off from Cape Town at 23:03 on Wednesday and reached QAT at 02:01 local time on the same day.
Due to the absence of traditional paved runways in the Antarctic region, the 787-9 touched down on a “blue ice runway,” which spans 3,000 meters in length and 60 meters in width.
Joining of the Antarctic Club
Prior to N0’s Dreamliner touchdown, the most notable commercial aircraft landing in Antarctica included the first-ever landing of an Airbus A340 on the continent by Hi Fly (5K) in 2021. Additionally, there is a long history of aviation in Antarctica, with various aircraft, including military planes and helicopters, having landed on the continent over the years. These landings have contributed to the exploration and logistical support of scientific research in Antarctica.
The CEO of Norse Atlantic Airways, Bjørn Tore Larsen, expressed excitement and pride in achieving a significant milestone in aviation history. He stated, “It is a great honor and excitement on behalf of the entire team Norse that we have achieved together a momentous moment of landing the first 787 Dreamliner. In the spirit of exploration, we are proud to have a hand in this important and unique mission. It is a true testament to our highly trained and skilled pilots and crew and our state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft.”
Norse Atlantic Airways was founded in February 2021 as a Norwegian low-cost, long-haul airline. The airline operates a fleet of 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with three 787-8s and two 787-9s on order.
Featured image: Norse Atlantic Airways 787-9 (LN-FNC), the first 787 to land in Antarctica. Photo: Norse Atlantic Airways