Munich airport has just welcomed a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 crew from the longest non-stop flight the airline has ever made. The trip also entailed the longest crew-duty period in living memory for the pilots and cabin crew.
On Sunday 31 January the crew of 16 – commanded by Captain Rolf Uzat – took off from Hamburg bound for the Mount Pleasant military airfield on the Falkland Islands. The A350-900 (D-AIXP) covered the 7,392nm (13,700km) distance in 15h 26min.
The 7,230nm return flight on 4 February took 14h 03min, an all-time long-distance record for an incoming flight to Munich airport.
Each of these airborne legs involves formidable crew duty periods, but because of Covid-19 the crew and passengers for this special flight also had to quarantine for two weeks in a Bremerhaven hotel before departure, making the total duty time for the return trip a full 20 days.
The 40 passengers flown from Mount Pleasant to Munich were the crew of the research vessel “Polarstern”, working for the Alfred Wegener Institute’s Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven.