I boarded a Hi Fly A340 chartered for White Desert Antarctica (Tour Operator) to fly to the seventh continent; Antarctica. The flight time from Cape Town to Wolf’s Fang Runway in Antarctica is 5 hours and 15 minutes. Flying from 33 degrees South to 71 degrees South in latitude. Commander Carlos Mirpuri explained the Antarctic flight operating conditions and requirements.
During the flight, the founder of White Desert Antarctica Patrick explained what to expect in Antarctica. As we flew closer to Antarctica, passengers changed to winter clothing and got ready for the exploration. Antarctica season is from mid-November to early February every year.
The weather condition was good with clear visibility for landing at Wolf’s Fang runway. The runway friction index was also sufficient to allow the airplane to stop during braking. Our A340 landed at Wolf’s Fang runway (71º 32’ 00” S 8º 50’ 00” E) around 1930 UTC time. I was lucky to observe the Antarctic landing from the jumpseat.
The runway length is 2500 m (8200') long and 60 m (196') wide. Wolf’s Fang Runway is operated by White Desert Antarctica and it’s the only blue ice runway. It takes 22 hours to groom and prepare the runway for every jet landing.
After landing, we climbed a nearby Nunatak (small mountain) and were just amazed at the pristine landscape; the white desert! The sun never set during the Antarctic summer. I also visited the newly opened Echo Camp for refreshments before the flight back. Certainly one of "The Greatest Day" in my aviation and travel memory!