The Boeing 787 has now operated to every continent on the planet.
On November 15, 2023, a Dreamliner operated by Norse Atlantic Airways (registration LN-FNC) completed the long trip from its home base in Oslo to Troll Airfield (QAT), in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, with a stopover in Cape Town (CPT), South Africa, along the way.
This special charter was carrying 45 people, including researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute, as well as 12 tons of equipment for several research stations scattered across the frozen continent.
Its arrival at Troll Airfield marked the first ever landing of a Boeing 787 in Antarctica.
This airfield, fitted with a 3,000-meter blue ice runway made of compacted ice and snow, is one of Antarctica’s gateways to the rest of the world. It serves as a base for the Dronning Maud Land Air Network Project (DROMLAN), an initiative through which 11 nations (namely, Norway, Belgium, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom) share logistic resources. Troll Airfield acts as a distribution point for smaller bases that are served by ski-fitted Basler BT-67 aircraft, a heavily modified version of the iconic DC-3 aircraft.
The landing and subsequent departure of the Dreamliner were recorded on video and later posted to the Norwegian airline’s YouTube channel.
Although located at the other end of the globe from Norway, Queen Maud Land is claimed by the Scandinavian country, which has also a speck of sovereign territory in Bouvet Island, an uninhabited islet roughly halfway between South Africa and Antarctica.