Airbus A340 lands at Antarctica

Airbus has landed the first Airbus A340 in Antarctica.

The aircraft landed at Dumont d’Urville, a French base in the southwest of the continent, to demonstrate that no corrosion and even weather can stop it from landing.

The landing test marks the latest milestone in the life of the A340, the world’s largest-selling widebody aircraft. It was unveiled in 1998 and entered service with Air France in 2002, making it the first such aircraft to be delivered in the category.

Image © Airbus

When the plane lands in Antarctica, it is the first time it has been flown from one continent to another, although it has been sighted in the Southern Ocean (where the South Pole is) and several other places.

“Since arriving in the Southern Ocean on 1 May, we have conducted a huge number of trials with our A340-300 and have been particularly pleased with the way it has performed against all forecasts,” said Owen Heizer, A340 project manager.

“By December of this year, we will need to transport the aircraft to Dumont d’Urville, close to the Ross Sea where it will be needed for the annual series of exercises of the French Aerospace Agency (DGAT).”

Image © Airbus

On Friday Airbus said that it had ordered 14 A380s from Emirates, increasing the number of the superjumbos in service to 53.

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