Tomorrow, Lufthansa will be departing for its second non-stop flight from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant (MPN) in the Falkland Islands on behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven. This time the Airbus A350-900 will be carrying 40 crew members of the research vessel Polarstern as well as scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt). During the flight, the scientists will be collecting measurement data that will provide further insights on the influence of the Earth’s magnetic field in regards to aviation. Therefore, the second flight to the Falkland Islands is already contributing to science on its way to the South Pole.
The Airbus A350-900 will be transferred from Munich to Hamburg at 14:30 tomorrow, and is scheduled to arrive at Hamburg Airport at 3:40 p.m. with the flight number LH9923. The same evening, LH2574 will take off for Mount Pleasant at 9:30 p.m. The aircraft with the registration D-AIXQ, christened with the name of the city of Freiburg is the newest member of the Lufthansa A350 fleet and one of the world’s most sustainable and efficient long-haul aircraft.
“With the second flight to the Falkland Islands, we are not only pleased to be able to support the AWI’s polar research expedition, but also to make an important contribution to further research into the Earth’s magnetic field,” says Thomas Jahn, Fleet Captain and Falklands Project Manager. “We have already been supporting climate research projects for more than 25 years now.”
The reason for this second flight to the Falkland Islands is to rotate the Polarstern crew and to pick up the research expedition team. Since the beginning of February, a team of about 50 researchers have been collecting important data on ocean currents, sea ice and the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean, which, among other things, enable reliable climate predictions. On the way back from the research area in the southern Weddell Sea, Polarstern stopped at Atka Bay, where an additional 25 scientists boarded the ship: Specifically the summer staff as well as the winter team of Neumayer Station III, with the latter returning to Germany after more than 15 months in the Antarctic. On 2 April, Lufthansa will be bringing AWI’s international research team and the DLR scientists back to Germany from the Falkland Islands. The landing is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on April 3 at Munich Airport with the flight number LH2575.
The first flight from Hamburg to the Falkland Islands, which took place at the end of January 2021, was the longest non-stop passenger flight in Lufthansa’s history. The Airbus A350-900 arrived at the Mount Pleasant military base after flying over 13,000 kilometers in more than 15 hours.
In order to make the research as climate-friendly as possible, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut will also compensate the CO2 emissions of the flight.