A380 first for Antarctica – TravelMole true

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A380 first for Antarctica

Wednesday, 11 Sep, 2009 0

SYDNEY – In a first for aviation and tourism, a Qantas Airbus A380 super jumbo will operate a unique sightseeing flight to Antarctica on New Year’s Eve – the first commercial flight by an A380 over the south polar region, and the only aircraft permitted to do so on New Year’s Eve.

The flight, organised by Melbourne-based Antarctica Sightseeing Flights, will originate in Sydney and fly via Melbourne to reach Antarctica.

Passengers will be over the “ice” at midnight and be the first in the world to see the light of the new year.

The chartered A380 will fly figure-eight patterns above the polar terrain for up to four hours before heading back to Melbourne and Sydney.

Two other Antarctic flights are also planned for the southern summer – a second A380 service direct from Sydney on January 24 and a Boeing 747-400 from Melbourne on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Senior Qantas pilots operate all flights.

“Antarctica is the world’s coldest, driest and windiest continent, and the fastest, most comfortable way to view it is from the air, which maximises viewing but leaves not a single footprint,” said Antarctica flights founder Phil Asker, whose company has operated 85 Antarctic flights from Australia since 1994, all with Boeing 747 aircraft chartered from Qantas.

Pricing from Sydney and Melbourne for the New Year’s Eve flight ranges from $999 for an Economy Class Centre seat to $6,299 in First Class.

The inaugural A380 sightseeing flight from Melbourne to Antarctica on New Year’s Eve will take about 11 ½ hours and cover some 9,500 kilometres.

For more information on pricing, travel dates etc, or to book an Antarctica sightseeing flight, contact travel agents in Australia, call 1800 633 449 or visit www.antarcticaflights.com.au.


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Ian Jarrett

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