DALLAS — On Friday, low-cost Czech carrier Smartwings (QS) landed one of its seven Boeing 737-8 in Antarctica. After three stops, the MAX aircraft registered OK-SWA landed at Troll Research Station on Friday, November 11.
In January, the airline also flew one of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Antarctica, operating a charter service for Aircontact (see video below). The charter was to transport members of the Norwegian Polar Institute. The flight carried researchers from Oslo, Norway, and Bremen, Germany.
The service started on November 9, when flight QS4196 departed at 8:00 AM from Prague (PRG) for Bremen (BRE). Then the aircraft departed at 10:40 AM from BRE for Oslo (OSL) and returned to PRG at 2:25 PM on the same day.
Then at 4:30 PM, the aircraft departed PRG for N’Djamena (NDJ) in Chad. The following day, November 10, the flight departed NDJ at 12:41 AM for Cape Town (CPT). Finally, on November 11, the aircraft flew the final leg when it left CPT at 11:28 AM and arrived at Troll Research Station (QAT) at 3:11 PM.
Return from Antarctica
After more than two hours at QAT, the aircraft departed at 5:38 PM back to CPT. On November 13, the aircraft returned to Prague and was deployed on regular operations to Malanga (AGP) and Pune (PNG).
Troll Airfield (QAT) is located along Princess Martha Coast, Queen Maud Land. The runway, which is 9,842 ft (3,00 m) long, is constantly monitored and resurveyed in order for safe air operations.
Smartwings follows Portugal-based carrier Hi Fly (5K), which recently flew to Antarctica. The carrier flew its Airbus A340 to QAT to deliver scientists, supplies, and visitors. As it is currently summer in Antarctica, it is the most popular time to visit as the weather is warmer and the days are longer.
Scientists on the ground will make the most of their time by performing important research before returning ahead of the winter season.
Featured image: SmartWings OK-SWA Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways