Smartwings lands in Antarctica with Boeing 737-Max-8

First type landing in Antarctica (Photo: Smartwings).
First type landing in Antarctica (Photo: Smartwings).

Smartwings lands in Antarctica with Boeing 737-Max-8

First type landing in Antarctica (Photo: Smartwings).
Advertising

The Czech airline Smartwings landed in Antarctica for the first time on January 26, 2022 with a Boeing 737 Max. A charter flight was operated with the OK-SWB. It is the type first landing on this continent.

It was comparatively quick for a carrier to use a Boeing 737 Max 8 in the direction of the eternal ice for the first time as part of a flight order, because, for example, the four-engine Airbus A340 wait much longer.

Smartwings landed OK-SWB at Troll Airfield, located in northern Antarctica. There is no classic runway made of concrete or asphalt, because the ground is frozen pretty much all year round. Therefore, the planes used for the research missions land on ice.

The special flight initially took off from Oslo, Norway, and set course for Cape Town. A stopover was made in N'Djamena. From South Africa we went straight to Antarctica. After a stay of around two hours, the OK-SWB began the return journey to Oslo (via Cape Town).

The crew of the Smartwings aircraft received continuous in-flight weather reports and airport operational readiness updates via datalink and satellite phone communications. The 3.000 m long, ice-covered runway is used for landing and take-off. The thickness of the ice was measured and analyzed to hold back the operation. The surface has been specially prepared and the braking effect measured before operation by the Norwegian Polar Institute to allow take-off and landing according to aircraft manufacturers' regulations and standards, while respecting all safety margins.

Landing on ice requires a specially trained crew consisting of three experienced captains - Tomáš Nevole, Jan Šťastný and Lubomír Malík. “You have to prepare thoroughly for a flight like this. The preparations took many months, and the flight and landing went smoothly,” says Smartwings captain and flight director Tomáš Nevole.

It is not possible to plan an alternative airport instead of Troll Airfield. There is simply no alternative. Due to the fact that it is a so-called isolated airport, where no other landing options are within reach, it was necessary to obtain an assessment and approval from the Czech Aviation Authority for Troll as an isolated airfield.

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

This website uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn more about how your comment data is processed.

Editor of this article:

Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
[ssba buttons]

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

Your
Aviation.Direct team
paywalls
nobody likes!

About the editor

Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
[ssba buttons]

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

Your
Aviation.Direct team
paywalls
nobody likes!

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

This website uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn more about how your comment data is processed.

Advertising