Titan Airways has landed the first Boeing 767 in Antartica – the largest passenger jet to ever land there.
Between November 2019 and February 2020, Titan Airways operated a mini-series of six flights between Cape Town and Novolazarevskaya, a Russian Antarctic research station, on behalf Antarctic Logistics Centre International.
Titan Airways’ Boeing 757 and 767 fleet were fitted with modified, extended legs on the landing gear to help absorb the shock of landing on ice.
The research base is located on top of a glacier, which is around 500m thick. The runway is classed as ‘Blue Ice’ and is constructed purely by cutting grooves into the ice to provide the friction for aircraft to land. The runway is 3,000m long, 60m wide, and marked out by black marker-boards.
‘A huge amount of work went into the planning of such a complex operation, including applying to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for an air operator’s certificate extension. The operation was also supported by a survival expert to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our crew in the event of an extended stay down route.’Alastair Willson, Titan Airways managing director