Lufthansa’s Awesome Falkland Islands Charter Flight

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Lufthansa will be operating its longest-ever flight with passengers on February 1, 2021, and it couldn’t be a cooler route.

Lufthansa’s charter flight to the Falkland Islands

In early February, Lufthansa will be operating what’s easily one of the most fun charter flights I’ve ever heard of:

  • On February 1, 2021, LH2574 will operate from Hamburg, Germany, to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands; the ~8,300 mile flight is expected to take around 15 hours
  • On February 3, 2021, LH2575 will operate from Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands, to Munich, Germany; the ~8,100 mile flight should be marginally shorter, given tailwinds

Lufthansa’s routing to the Falkland Islands

Lufthansa will be using an Airbus A350-900 for this charter, featuring 293 seats. However, there will be fewer than 100 passengers on each flight.

For those of you not familiar with the Falkland Islands, this is a remote South Atlantic archipelago. There are just over 3,000 residents there, and it’s a British overseas territory. It’s also just a few hundred miles from Antarctica.

What’s the point of this Lufthansa charter flight?

Lufthansa is essentially providing a charter for people who are taking the Polarstern research vessel to & from Antarctica.

The flight from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant will be carrying 92 people, split evenly between scientists and ship crews.

Then the flight from Mount Pleasant to Munich will be carrying the crew that is getting off the Polarstern, which resupplied the Neumayer Station III in Antarctica. That crew started the trip on December 20, 2020, so they’re being relieved after being in Antarctica for several weeks.

In the past this kind of trip to get people to Antarctica would operate via Cape Town, but due to the coronavirus situation there, a nonstop charter flight to the Falkland Islands was decided on this time around.

Lufthansa will use an A350 for this charter flight

Lufthansa is making special preparations

Given the unique circumstances of this flight, all the passengers and crew have to quarantine for a period of 14 days before the trip, given how problematic it could be if someone on this trip tests positive for coronavirus.

Despite the quarantine requirement, it’s being reported that over 600 flight attendants applied to take part in this trip.

Lots of extra preparations are required as well — pilots are doing extra training via special electronic maps, and are also monitoring the fuel supply at the Mount Pleasant military base for the return flight.

In Hamburg the A350 will be loaded with additional cargo and baggage, which is being specially disinfected, and will remain sealed until departure. There are also containers on the plane for any residual waste on board, since this can only be disposed of when the plane arrives back in Germany.

The Lufthansa crew also includes technicians and ground staff for on-site landing and maintenance in the Falkland Islands. The Lufthansa crew will have to quarantine in the Falkland Islands, in line with government requirements.

Lufthansa A350 business class

Bottom line

Lufthansa will be operating its longest flight ever with passengers, as the airline will operate a charter flight from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant. This ~8,300 mile flight is being operated to get research teams and ship crews closer to Antartica.

I’ve long been fascinated by the Falkland Islands, so I find this to be such a cool trip. If I were a Lufthansa crew I’d certainly volunteer for this cool experience, even if there is a quarantine requirement in the Falkland Islands.

Is this charter flight awesome, or what?

  1. Several years ago we took a cruise from Buenos Aires around Cape Horn that ended in Santiago. One of the stops was the Falkland Islands. It’s a nice little British outpost with many varieties of penguins to see. I’m not sure that I’d want to stay there in quarantine for 14 days, that could be rough if you had to stay the whole time at a hotel.

  2. Please use the correct name for these islands: Las Malvinas. These islands have been, are, and will always be part of Argentina, notwithstanding any contrary claims by the UK.

  3. What @erik said. About four hours for fish and chips and a pint, a peek at penguins, and a walk to the war memorial.

  4. I agree with Neal Z. The Argentine claim is not frivolous. There is some merit to it but, to me, the claim of South Georgia is dubious. Falkland Islands (Malvinas) at least once is possibly the best way.

    Thus article is interesting. Too bad Ben wasn’t able to meet the plane at Mount Pleasant.

  5. 1690: John Strong (England) landed, and named the sound and eventually the entire island group after Viscount Falkland, Admiralty Commissioner.
    1816: The United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, later called Argentina, claimed independence from Spain.

  6. @Neal Z: I am laughing so much here. I still remember when obnoxious Argentines thought they could fight against the UK for these islands. They got their asses kicked so bad that it must be embarrassing to have that on history books for younger kids in Argentina to read.

  7. Falkland Island was one of many deployments while serving with the Royal Air Force during the late 1980s, love my 4 month posting down there and got to explore the Islands and its wildlife during my time off from work. Very lucky to have been there.

  8. I would sooooo love to be on that flight. Would love even more to have a proper layover on the islands – they are very british und beautyful. Was there in ealy march 2020 and loved it.

  9. As an ex serviceman who actually fought in the Falklands these islands are British and will stay British whatever the argentinas say the islanders voted to remain British accept that Argentina got its backside severely kicked

  10. To those say Las Malvinas…..The People Of the Falkland Islands voted to remain part of Britain.

    Argentina did not exist as a country when the Falklands was inhabited by the British.

    The Argentinian government speaks up about the Falklands when their having issues domestically.

  11. @Santastico: LOL and agreeing with your every word. To this day, if you go to Argentina and see all sorts of things named “Islas Malvinas” you can also laugh your a.. off at their insanity.

    And Falkland Islanders are not Argentine either – they’re British.

  12. These Islands are British and will remain British contrary to what Argentina say.
    Please, no more sabre rattling to gain political advantage in Argentina.
    Enough lives have been lost in the past on both sides.

  13. To all those bickering about the name,

    The war produced the best Newsweek cover page in history.

    Over a photo of the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes it had the headline: “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”. (this was 1982, not long after the movie)

    Genius. Easily Googled if you want to see it.

    Now, back to your bickering.

  14. My English friend from university lives in Fox bay. The pub l, his favourite relic from the latest failed attempt at land grab, is the bar out of the Belgrano in a portacabin. They’re all English on the island so west Faulklands or Argentina can swivel

  15. They are The Falklands, and you argies and argy lovers were told that quite distinctly the last time you decided to try.

    Read your history. They were the malvinas. Now they are not. No matter how much you whine.

    Want them back? Come and take them.

  16. @ Neal Z
    “These islands have been, are, and will always be part of Argentina”

    They were a British territory before Argentina even became a country…

    In fact, I couldn’t give a stuff about historical claims; the only thing that matters is what the people themselves want. We all believe in the right to democratic self-determination, right?

    So I’d be absolutely happy for sovereignty to be transferred to Argentina at the exact moment that the majority of the island population want it. Reasonable enough?

    I’m really surprised Lucky hasn’t already taken the direct flight from the UK. Surely that’s a must-do for a committed avgeek?!

  17. Answering to santastico and stogieguy7, contrary to your hellywood fantasy about the war over the Malvinas, the britishits lost over a dozen ships including the carriers which now carpet the south Atlantic bottom and with the sinking of the Atlantic Conveyor alone they lost aircrafts, choppers, tanks and artillery, not to mention ammo, equipment and other weaponry, so ass h0les, if want to lol look at the mirror.

  18. @ derek & neal z you are both clearly ignorant of history and reality like much of the maga crowd, the Falkland Islands have never been and never will be argentine as noted by the nice paul, the british citizens who inhabit the islands have made that very clear,

  19. The Argies got their asses whooped over their dubious Falkland claim. Remember the (in)famous “GOTCHA” headline? (If not, Google is your friend).

  20. Derek and Neil Z seem both to be posting gibberish nonsense, and are disregarding any facts.

    The Falkland Islands have never been an Argentine preserve or outpost.

    The Falkland Islands were under Her Majesties protection long long before Argentina ever existed.

  21. Nothing is set in stone but the Falklands are British right now and I can’t imagine that changing soon. I think those living there should have that say on their independence or nationality, as many countries have already done with their referendums e.g. Gibraltar, Australia. Argentina also has btw some land claimed by Chile at El Chalten.

  22. To exDOH and others, the Argentine claim is not frivolous. Spain rightly claimed and settled on the islands in the early 1800’s, their claim being recognized by France. Argentina inherited the claim and also had settlers. Those settlers were conquered by the British and expelled. That is the gist of the Argentine claim. On the other hand, I consider the Argentine claim of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as frivolous. They are British.

    In 1982, the UK did not really have the resources to protect the Falklands. The were lucky. Now, their ability is even worse though they do have Tornado fighters based there. Not very many. On the other hand, Argentina is even weaker. They no longer have jet fighters except for reportedly 6 functional A-6 Skyhawks, which are no match for the Tornado.

  23. Tornados are retired. Now there is a Eurofighter Typhoon detachment there. If the Argentines had better bomb fuses, the British could have been in real danger of losing the campaign then. At the end, they did prevail.

  24. It took 4 posts before the thread turned political (and innacurate at that)

    the political status of the Falklands is of no consequence to the nature of this flight.

    This is an airline blog can we keep comments to that and not turn every post in to a political argument? It’s tiresome.

  25. Having been to the Falklands in Feb. 2020 just weeks before Covid -19 hit the U.S. -timing was everything. Flew in on the LATAM flight from Santiago on a Saturday and returned one week later on the only commercial flight to Mt Pleasant. Spent 3 days on Saunders island – 30 thousand acre island occupied by a 5 member sheep farm team – 30 minutes from where we were isolated. Saw no humans for 72 hours. Only communication was by a walkie talkie to the sheep farm that could only be responded to after the sheep farm family returned to their home late in the day. Talk about isolation. At the time thought that the isolation was extreme yet today with the current Covid conditions would be more appreciated. Fascinating Place. Penguins, albatross, elephant seals, seals – an animal paradise. Expensive.

    Did Sea Lion Island and Stanley. Windy, no trees, 6 inches of peat moss everywhere-spongy to walk on and everything British. They accept no South American currency. No ATM Machines. There currency is the Falkland Pound exchanged one to one for a British pound. So had to pre buy British pounds before arrival due to no way to acquire currency in Chile. The international airport is a military base with extreme security. Travel between islands is done by small 4 to 6 seat planes also run/managed by the military.

    Fascinating place – would go again

  26. Of course such an article turn political. Not only concerning boarders, but sustainability. These “scientist” probably made more harm than good by boarding the plane, considering the huge fuel burn per passenger such a long flight will require. Best of luck!

  27. I was there, some of my mates are still there, we will never forget the lives that were lost, because of a failed government trying to extend it’s time in power. Argentinian people should understand that we feel just as strongly as they do. The people of the islands have spoken. They will always be British, we will never accept threats to our people, no matter where they come from or whatever their claim.

  28. Trump’s fault – the US owns them – MAGA (Make Argentina Great Again)!

    (ok, couldn’t resist… I will show myself out)

    …would love to visit and I have both British and Argentine friends…

  29. I’m jealous that they get such a nice aircraft; the Airlink service from the UK is NOT anything to brag about, and makes that time it take to fly LHR-SCL-PUQ-MPN almost worth it.

  30. I am not Briton nor Argentinian, but look at the geographic location of this island and still remember the war in the 80’s. This is part of UK?? yep right? If you rob from someone else then became yours what can you say?

  31. Seriously take your petty juvenile political bullshit to another site. I come here to read useful comments not to read grown adults playing “my tool is bigger than yours”

  32. @YULtide Anybody who’s been there for any length of time. I spent many months over a few years on the Islands, and Argentina, and many other places in the Southern Cone, and Antarctica. It became one of those topics you just ignore if you want to maintain friendships, a bit like Gibraltar with the Spaniards.

    Also, as my Argentinean friends tell me, the only ones who will constantly fight about it have nothing better to do.

    Let’s not forget that Chile includes Antarctica in their nightly weather reports because they “own” a portion of the ice, and Argentina has transported pregnant women to Base Esperanza to give birth so that they could claim rights to it for having the only native-born citizens of Argentina. It’s fun to watch!

  33. @YULtide …the only native-born citizens of *Antarctica.

    Sorry for the typo – I was laughing as I typed.

  34. I wouldn’t say the Falklands war was a walkover for the Brits, they lost a couple of hundred men and it could’ve been a lot worse. An exocet missile destroying a British frigate springs to mind.

  35. Let’s hope that covid does not make its way to Antarctica like it did recently at a Chilean base. Hopefully the 14 days is sufficient. I just turned 60 last December and I had planned on taking a scientific cruise from New Zealand to Argentina that passes through parts of Antarctica that are rarely visited by other ships. I would say 2022, but being realistic even 2023 is doubtful.

    Referendums rarely work as desired and many times, like the case of Crimea are only accepted by a small number of countries. Furthermore, how does one decide who is even eligible to vote. As an example, several of the cities in Nagorno were nearly all Armenian after the war in 1994. Had a referendum been held after 1994, the Armenians would have voted overwhelmingly to secede from Azerbaijan. However, prior to the war some of the cities were predominantly Azeri.

  36. Ask any resident of the Falkland islands and they will tell you: They are British!
    Regardless if the UK loss vessels, equipment, whatever… the FACT is they won the war over Argentina!
    Argentinians… get over it and fix your internal issues first!
    You already got your revenge with that questionable goal from Maradona… (nobody in Argentina questions that, right?)

  37. I cannot wait to see LATAM flights resumed from GRU so I can finally visit the Falkland Islands <3 Been wanting to visit there! Such a cool destination.

  38. Well considering 36 people tested positive for Coronavirus in Antarctica on December 23 2020…I would say it’s already there!

    I once flew on a LH 747 from EZE-FRA. The flight went on forever.

  39. The islands are British and always will be british I didn’t travel all that way on the QE2 to fight and liberate them back to British sovereignty.

    There called the Falkland Islands not Malvinas and the Union Jack fly’s proudly in the wind.

    Falklands war veteran

  40. As a non-Brit and non-Argentine I find it hilarious that y’all are arguing over some tiny islands in the South Atlantic with a population smaller than a rural county in America.

  41. MALVINAS!! That’s the right name. People living there still insist on being part of the UK… even not being recognized as a british citizen… unbelievable. Argies have their asses kicked, but kelpers have their asses fucked

  42. Visited a scenic rockhopper penguin colony there, on the cliffs about 45 minute jeep ride out of Stanley. Go see it!

  43. Was there in the 90s . The base commander did a welcome speech to all us new arrivals.
    “You should think yourself s lucky as UK tourists pay £2000 to come here “ was his opening statement . My reply was I feel lucky as it was 1992 not 1982. However much as I missed my family l did enjoy my time there.
    This place is unique, unspoilt and I feel privileged to have been there .
    I have been to Argentina too and found the people so friendly. My advice to Argentina is concentrate on your own country first. The tourist industry is an area post COVID that well could boom if exploited. The wine is good too so now post Brexit get exporting more to UK. Agriculture and tourism sector big for local jobs .

  44. Just a local islander here. Islas Malvinas claims are cute really, aren’t the Argentines are to preoccupied with trying to claim Antarctica as well now?! But if that doesn’t work I’m sure you could try and claim Chile if you’re bored.

  45. I fought for the FALKLAND ISLAND’s liberation in 1982.

    You keep whining Argentina we can’t hear you above our awesomeness

    Lots of love the Royal Navy.

  46. Buenos días. Las Islas Malvinas NO son un territorio Inglés de ultramar. Es un territorio Argentino usurpado por el Reunido Unido desde 1833, cuando a los argentinos que allí habitaban, los Ingleses los invadieron, muchos fueron asesinados en esa ocación, y las ocuparon.

  47. The company my dad worked for was tasked with bringing a flotel (google it) to the islands after the war as it was needed to provide lodging for the soldiers. The only way to get there was via RAF on their Super VC-10. The civilian fare was exorbitant and obviously not possible to use miles.

    He brought several mementos back, including some first day covers (you know, stamps) commemorating the first anniversary of liberation and a t-shirt his eight year old boy proudly wore emblazoned with “Keep the Falklands British”. I did not speak English at the time.

    For anyone interested in the conflict, there are plenty of documentaries available on YouTube. Watch, learn and make your own mind up.

  48. These Islands are called Malvinas Argetinas, no matter that times goes by, there were and will always be from Argentina.

  49. Malvinas argentinas!

    The story that is told in argentina is different to the story that is told in pirate UK.

    Anyways..non of us will live just a peace of land..

  50. It’s fascinating to see Argentina use the rhetoric of imperialism about Las Malvinas (sic), when its own proud history includes the struggles against colonialism and the fight for liberation from Spain.

    Yet here it now is, insisting that a tiny group of islands inhabited by people who do not want to be part of Argentina are, somehow, Argentina’s “possession”.

    It’s as bizarre as Chile being the imperial power in the Easter Islands which, culturally, have pretty much nothing to do with the mainland.

    As the late great Borges put it, the Falklands conflict was two bald men fighting over a comb. Ultimately, after the loss of many lives on both sides, the islanders got what they wanted.

    Argentina also won the peace, throwing over the evil Galtieri dictatorship and restoring democracy.

    And while the UK won the war it lost the peace; Thatcher was on her way out as the most unpopular prime minister ever, until the jingoism of the war and a rise of nationalism with the victory cemented her hold on power.

    It’s a funny old world.

  51. People inhabiting those islands at the time that England “decided” to own them, we’re they English ?
    And what did those englishmen do with those people ? Were they duly respected AND THEIR LAND ?
    They were STOLEN . THEIR IDENTITY AND THEIR LAND we’re STOLEN by historically englishmen lovers of piracy and colonialism.
    Moreover, just let’s imagin argentinians claiming ownership of Ireland : HILARIOUS !!!!
    Evidently it then was as simple as this: “oh I discovered land here and from now on it will be mine” Jajajaja

  52. The dispute over the name has been settled once and for all by a war during which Great Britain completely licked the Argentines under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.

    To the best of my knowledge, there has been no further invasion of the Falkland Islands for the past 30 years, with Britain and Argentina being at peace and doing good business. BA planes are regularly seen at Buenos Aires airport and reciprocally Argentine has rejoined the community of civilized nations, after booting the military junta which had started the war for purely internal reasons, i.e finding a derivative to the appalling crisis they had thrown the country into.

    Any further attack would produce the exact same result as over 30 years ago and nobody wants it.

    Calm down, all…

  53. Lucky, I am not sure where you found the information about going to the Falklands via Capetown. Are you sure you arenot confusing with St Helena ?

    Every week or so, a RAF A330 flies from RAF Brize Norton base to the Falklands, stopping at Asuncion Island, another British base in the Atlantic. The trip is surprisingly inexpensive (one class) and the meals exceptionally good, even if the seats are… well, not good.

    Before the A330, the trip was done with an ex-BA L10-11 operated by the RAF, which had kept its 3 class layout, still sold as 1-class. The trick was to access the front cabins, not something obvious unless you were an RAF officer. but it was worth it.

  54. Honestly the people who have been fed Argentinian false propaganda since childhood are so wrong.

    Firstly we own the FALKLANDS we lost brave men, who went too fight and die for the right of the actual citizens of that part of the British empire too REMAIN British.

    These patriotic civilians CHOOSE to be British, if they wanted too be part of a corrupt junta (at that time ) they would have, they can choose to be Argentinian at any time and there choice would be honoured.

    Yet yiur Argentinian government has brainwashed you people, you haven’t fought the brave Argentinian soldiers who badly led by corrupt lazy officers who treated conscripts terribly starving and beating them, staking them out on the ground for minor offenses, lying too them, some thought they were on a training exercise, and all were shocked that the civilians of the FALKLANDS did not want them there, treated them as invaders not the liberators they have always been led too believe they would be welcomed as.

    These poor conscripts fought like lions against a much smaller but far more superior British army.

    If they had been led properly treated like men instead off beasts then maybe the INVASION OF BRITISH FALKLANDS would have ended differently, but it didn’t, get over it get this through your heads, the falklands can change too the Malvinas any time its inhabitants want, but guess what they don’t want.

    So stop with your childish propaganda no one is listening, what can’t you accept, are you so bitter that you will refuse too accept what the actual people who have lived there for generations want? That’s what dictatorships do, that’s what your junta that murdered and disappeared thousands did, this is 2021 and its what the people want, and 100% of the inhabitants want to remain loyal too queen and country, is that so hard too accept.

  55. AA. 22 Regiment H. Would love to go back to respect the fallen of both nations.

    We only kneel for the Queen, for the fallen and to take aim. Argentinian needs to remember that

  56. many people do not know the story but in 1883 they were usurped by British forces … the claim is still ongoing … Malvinas Argentinas.

  57. Charly I don’t know your nationality but how would you feel if armed foreign soldiers marched down your high street? The corrupt regime in Argentina were no better than Hitler and his thugs. One bonus of the Falklands conflict was the removal of the military junta.

  58. Hi Ben. That would be a great trip. I missed out taking the RAF flight to see my brother on the Falklands a couple of years ago. Ps. It’s over 2000 miles to Antarctica from the Falklands.

  59. Over the centuries much blood has been spilled over land and the Falklands are a classic example of how this happened!
    I have respect for the British forces that went there and gave back to the islanders what they wanted !
    I also have great sympathy and respect for all of the forces British and Argentine who lost their lives or were injured in the conflict!
    In the 60s America had a humiliating defeat in Vietnam after a great victory in the second world war as did Russia in Afghanistan and Britain in Aden!
    The American government has got more sense than to go back to Vietnam just as the Russians have going back to Afghanistan and Britain has going back to Aden!
    Some things are best left in the past!
    The ones that make the decisions on starting any wars are generally not the ones that have to go there and fight!!

  60. The bottom line is that this article was supposed to be about the flight to a far away place and not about politics or history or fake news!
    I enjoyed the article just a shame that it was railroaded in a different direction as it is a good article!!

  61. If one was a Falklander one would regard the Argentinian claim as spurious.

    Argentina was more prosperous than Europe pre WW2.Then from Peron onwards it has been run by a mixture of murderers and kleptocrats. Who have bankrupted their country several times through plundering its natural wealth. Even today. So to deflect from that their corrupt leaders play the “Falklands is Ours ” card. The Falklands is as British as as Gibraltar or Cornwall. It is now well defended too. Nothing wrong about the people of Argentina. As ever its their politicians.

  62. Politics aside, this Lufthansa flight is a great achievement, a lot different from my trip south from Southampton on the John Biscoe, at 10 knots in 1963,

  63. I didn’t see this in the comments but Lufthansa did ask the Argentina government permission to land in the in Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). This, coming right after Brexit, may signal a different position by the EU going forward.

    From a USA perspective this piece of territory is interesting. The official line is we recognize UK defacto but not dejure control (hence Malvinas in parentheses). There’s still a controversy according to our government. We have to walk a fine line as we’re friends with both parties.

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