Record flight for Lufthansa: After 15 hours 36 minutes and 13,600 kilometres, an Airbus A350-900 with researchers on board arrived in the Falkland Islands. There was no need to divert to Ushuaia, Argentina. At 9:01 a.m. local time (13:01 CET) on Monday morning (Feb. 1), the D-AIXP landed on runway 28 at Royal Air Force Station Mount Pleasant, the Falkland Islands’ international airport.
The landing on Monday made it the longest non-stop passenger flight in the company’s history, according to a Lufthansa spokeswoman. On board were researchers from the Bremerhaven-based Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for the research station “Neumayer III”, as well as the new crew of the research icebreaker “Polarstern”, who are scheduled for the upcoming expedition with the research vessel “Polarstern”.
As the hygiene requirements surrounding this flight were extremely high, the Lufthansa crew and passengers went into quarantine at a hotel in Bremerhaven at the same time two weeks ago. A virtual information and sports program was offered to make this time diverting for everyone. For example, they completed a 10,000-step competition, an idea of the Lufthansa crew, to keep fit during the first week of room quarantine. In addition, there were internal lectures by the scientists traveling with them.
The return flight to Germany is planned for Wednesday 03 February. At the end of March 2021 there will be another special flight to the Falklands.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal