A New Year with a view – fly over Antarctica on an A380

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How about this for a cool New Year’s celebration? Australian specialist tour firm Antarctica Sightseeing Flights is chartering a Qantas Airbus A380 to do a unique commercial flight over the south polar region on 31 December.

These are pictures of previous flights using a chartered Boeing 747-400 and the view is simply breathtaking. The organisers say that this is the first commercial flight by an A380 over Antarctica and it is the only aircraft permitted to do so on New Year’s Eve.

The aircraft will fly figure-eight patterns above the polar terrain for up to four hours. Under strictly controlled conditions, it can descend to a minimum of 3,077 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level or 615 metres (2,000 feet) above the highest terrain within 180 kilometres.  

The flight 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, say the organisers.

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

Sounds interesting, but it may also get a bit boring after a while – I mean, there is only so much of the ice that you can watch before it all seems the same. That’s just me, though. For those who are keen, visit www.antarcticaflights.com.au.


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