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In Photos: A Look At Hi Fly’s Antarctic Airbus A340 Mission

Portuguese wet lease specialist Hi Fly has become the first company to ever land an A340 in Antarctica. The flight, piloted by Captain Carlos Mirpuri and his crew, flew from Cape Town to the frozen continent on November 2nd, using 9H-SOL, a 19 year old ‘preighter’ configured to carry both passengers and cargo.

Flying to Antarctica

Hi Fly was contracted to fly a return service from Cape Town to Wolf’s Fang Runway, Antarctica (WFR), for the purposes of setting up base for a tour operator for the winter season. That tour operator is White Desert, a firm that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the continent between November and January each year.

To date, White Desert has mainly used a Gulfstream 550 for its operations, an aircraft with an impressive payload against its flying range. But the firm told Simple Flying previously that it was eyeing the larger A340 for its operations. The aircraft’s increased capacity would allow White Desert to provide transpiration to scientists working on the base as well as their own tourists.

We spotted Hi Fly’s A340 heading down to Antarctica back on November 2nd. The operator has now shared some breathtaking images of its arrival on the blue ice runway, and how the experience was for them.

The first A340