Lufthansa will make the longest passenger flight in the company's history, with explorers on board for its future mission to the South Pole.
On February 1, 2021, Lufthansa will depart on the longest passenger flight in the company's history. This unique flight by the airline will be made on behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven.
The flight will be operated by the most modern Lufthansa Group aircraft, an Airbus A350-900. It will fly a non-stop distance of 13.700 kilometers from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.
The flight will be operated under special conditions.
The flight duration of LH2574 will be approximately 15 hours. There will be 92 passengers on board the aircraft. Half of them will be scientists / explorers, and the other half will include the crew for the next expedition with the Polarstern research ship.
As the hygiene requirements for this flight are extremely high, the aircraft's captain, Rolf Uzat, and his 17-member crew entered a 14-day quarantine, starting last Saturday, at the same time as the passengers.
The preparations for this special flight are immense. These include additional training for pilots to navigate on special electronic flight and landing maps, as well as kerosene management available at the Mount Pleasant military base for the return flight.
The Airbus A350-900 aircraft is currently stationed in Munich, where it is ready for flight. In Hamburg, the aircraft will be loaded with the products needed for the flight and additional luggage needed for the expedition, which will be disinfected and will remain sealed until departure.
There will also be additional containers for residual waste on board, as they can only be disposed of after the plane returns to Germany.
Preparations for the flight began in the summer of 2020.
The Lufthansa crew includes technicians and ground staff required for baggage handling and aircraft maintenance at the destination, who will be quarantined on return due to government requirements.
The return flight, LH2575, is scheduled to depart for Munich on February 03. It will transport the Polarstern crew, which left on December 20 to supply the Neumayer III station in Antarctica.
To make research as environmentally friendly as possible, the Alfred Wegener Institute will offset CO2 emissions from flights through the non-profit organization for climate protection - as is the case with this special flight. The institute donates funds to biogas plants in Nepal for each mile traveled, thus reducing the same amount of CO2 emissions.
Preparations for the special flight began in the summer of 2020. The usual route through Cape Town was not feasible due to the South African pandemic, leaving only the route through the Falkland Islands available.
After landing on the Falkland Islands, scientists will continue their journey to Antarctica on the Polarstern research ship.