A commercial Boeing 757 flown by Icelandic Airlines landed at Union Glacier, Antarctica, last Thursday. It was the first commercial flight to the continent, according to a press release from tourism company Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). ALE said the flight was “undertaken to prove the feasibility of landing commercial passenger airliners at Union Glacier.”
Union Glacier has served as a runway for many years, with the ALE transporting between 400 and 500 passengers each season. But those flights were mostly made by cargo aircraft, and the passengers were primarily there to focus on research projects, Australia’s Traveller reports.
Tourists who wish to travel to Antarctica have traditionally arrived by boat through the Southern Ocean, departing from South Africa, Chile, or, in some cases, New Zealand.