On February 1, 2021, the German company Lufthansa will make the longest passenger flight in the history of its company, which is one of the most unique flights the airline has ever made. On behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, an Airbus A350-900 will fly 13,700 kilometers non-stop from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands.
The flight time is calculated around 15:00 hours. There are 92 passengers booked for this charter flight, half of which are scientists and the other half the crew of the ship for the next expedition with the research ship Polarstern.
“We are delighted to be able to support a polar research expedition during these difficult times. The commitment to climate research is very important to us. We have been active in this field for more than 25 years and have equipped selected aircraft with measuring instruments. Since then, scientists from all over the world have been using the data collected during the trip to make more accurate climate models and improve weather forecasts,” says Thomas Jahn, project manager in the Falklands.
As the hygiene requirements for this flight are extremely high, Captain Rolf Uzat and his 17 crew members entered a 14-day quarantine last Saturday, the same time as the passengers. “Despite the crew restrictions for this particular flight, 600 flight attendants requested this trip,” said Uzat.
The preparations for this special flight are immense. They include additional training for the pilots through special electronic maps for the flight and landing, as well as the handling of the kerosene available at the Mount Pleasant military base for the return flight.