Qantas to Start Flying Australians Over Antarctica From November 2020


While the ‘do not travel’ advice continues for all Australians, the options for overseas travel are extremely limited if not non-existent — in order to visit another country, Aussies must apply for an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs, and have a really good reason for wanting to do so.

Experts predict international travel will not resume as “normal” until 2024, and even the long-anticipated Trans-Tasman bubble — that would have seen Australians being able to visit New Zealand first and vice-versa without a quarantine period — is now delayed indefinitely following Australia’s second-wave of COVID-19.

But there is hope that we may be able to see a different country before the year is out. Qantas is set to resume its scenic flights over Antarctica as early as November.

Aboard a privately chartered Qantas 787 Dreamliner, passengers will venture upon a 12 to 13-hour flight that travels above the icy landscapes of the Antarctic body, departing from either Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth.

Since the plane does not land on the continent at any point during the journey, the flight is technically considered domestic. This means you don’t actually need a passport, nor do you need the proper gear to withstand sub-zero temperatures.

“There is no passport or luggage needed for an Antarctica Flight, you can even go in board shorts if you wish,” Antarctica Flights CEO Bas Bosschieter tells 7 News.

“It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Antarctica in a day.”

Views you can expect aboard the flight. Image: Antarctica Flights

The scenic flight reportedly travels over the South Pole and takes in views of mountainous peaks, ice sheets, huge glaciers and polar landscapes.

It takes around three hours to arrive over Antarctica. A further four hours is spent flying over the southern continent, with educational commentary from Antarctic expeditioners, before the return journey home is made.

Passengers will be required to adhere to strict social distancing measures while on board to ensure the safety of other passengers, plus the crew. A health and safety declaration will be completed prior to boarding, as will a temperature check. Passengers will be required to wear masks, plus use hand sanitizer regularly.

The cost of this exclusive day trip is said to start from $1,119 for an economy seat, though passengers riding in business could fork out up to $7,999.

Find out more about Antarctica Flights and book your seat here.

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