Boeing 767 bound for Cape Town

Icelandair transported 30 Norwegian scientists from Antarctica back to Oslo. Image: Adobe Stock

Boeing 767 bound for Cape Town takes off from Antarctica [watch]

Icelandair made an unusual, ultra-long distance pickup from Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica this week, taking off from a glacial ice runway.

Boeing 767 bound for Cape Town

Icelandair transported 30 Norwegian scientists from Antarctica back to Oslo. Image: Adobe Stock

Icelandair undertook the epic flight to and from Antarctica so it could return 30 scientists to their home base in Oslo, Norway. The scientists had been working in Antarctica for several months and were at the end of their posting.

Simpleflying reported that the flight was carrying a team of Norwegian researchers who had been stationed at the Norwegian Polar Institute’s Troll Research Station on Antarctica.

On 26 February, the large passenger aircraft took off from a blue-ice runway in Antarctica, heading for Cape Town International Airport on its return journey.


The Norwegian Polar Institute captured footage of the 185,000kg aircraft parked on the ice runway during pre-departure activities.

It then takes off from this desolate location surrounded by snow, ice and mountains.


Icelandair uses the Boeing 767 as a passenger aircraft to transport passengers to destinations across the globe. But this plane was commissioned to complete a most unusual trip – transporting scientists from Antarctica back to Norway.

The crew on this special charter flight included six pilots, 13 flight attendants and one aircraft mechanic. It took four days to complete this mission, which was why several crew members were required to carry out the operation.


The Icelandair Boeing 767 left its base in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 24 February.

It landed in Cape Town on 25 February for an overnight stopover to refuel. Then it made its final preparations before taking the 4,300km flight to the southernmost continent, Antarctica, to collect the 30 passengers.


The flight left Cape Town International Airport at 08.39 on 26 February. It took about five hours to reach Troll Airfield in Antarctica. The plane landed on a 3000m runway about 7km from the research station to collect the team.

After the passengers boarded, the Boeing 767 flew back to Cape Town International Airport. The flight arrived in Cape Town at 21.23 that evening for a quick refuel. It then started the next leg of its journey to Oslo to drop off the Norwegians.

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