New Ski Option? Qantas Buenos Aires Darwin Non-Stop!

snow action team 07.10.2021

Now that opens up some great ski options for Territorians: Qantas Buenos Aires Darwin direct flights!

Qantas used to fly direct Sydney – Buenos Aires with 747s 20 years ago, but pulled out of that route in 2001.

They fired up their popular Sydney – Santiago direct flights a few years later. These let you be on snow in Portillo or Valle Nevado the same day you leave, which is pretty cool. They also do a cut down far enough south to allow you to see plenty of icebergs when conditions are good on the all daylight return flight.

Hopefully Santiago flights will be back next year. Meantime this one off was a pretty amazing example of just how far you can fly these days.

The record breaking repatriation flight flew 15,020 kilometres from Buenos Aires to Darwin and touched down after 17 hours and 25 minutes in the air.

Crew member checks the view on Qantas Buenos Aires Darwin direct flight
Checking the view leaving South America © Qantas

Since March 2020 the airline has operated hundreds of charter and repatriation flights of behalf of the Australian Government to bring Australians home during the COVID19 pandemic, flying to 31 destinations overseas, including 19 that aren’t part of the airline’s regular network.

QF14 carried 107 passengers and flew non-stop from Buenos Aires to Darwin. The flight was 522 kilometres further than the airlines regular scheduled non-stop Perth to London flights which took off in March 2018 before they were paused due to the closure of Australia’s international border.

Qantas has a history of setting and breaking records for long-haul flights. In 1989, a Qantas 747 delivery flight flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 20 hours and nine minutes.

Qantas also operated two Project Sunrise research flights on a Boeing 787 from New York and London direct to Sydney in 2019 with a greatly reduced passenger load and a flying time of over 19 hours each.

The repatriation flight took off at 12.44pm local time in Buenos Aires, tracking south of Argentina, skirting the edge of Antarctica before crossing the Australian coast at 5.28pm (AEDT) and landing in Darwin at 6.39pm local time last night.

The first ever non-stop Qantas flight between Buenos Aires and Darwin flew entirely in daylight with smooth conditions, experienced average head winds of up to 35 kilometres per hour and temperatures as low as -75 Celsius while flying over Antarctica.

Pow day at Valle Nevado
Off the plane, into this at Valle Nevado – we arrived and got this first morning in 2017 © Owain Price / snowaction.com.au

A team of flight planning analysts spent the past month conducting extensive route planning based on weather and wind conditions across the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica.

Captain Alex Passerini said Qantas has a proud history in pioneering ultra-long haul flights due to the geographical location of Australia to the rest of the world and this one was no exception.

“Qantas has always stepped up to a challenge, especially when it comes to long-haul travel, and this flight is an excellent example of the capabilities and attention to detail of our flight planning team. There were some truly spectacular views as we tracked across Antarctica, which was an extra bonus for our passengers who were very glad to be coming home.”

QF14 also marks the first time that a flight has landed in Darwin from every inhabited continent in one year, all operated by Qantas.


  • QF14 from Buenos Aires – Darwin took 17 hours and 25 minutes over a distance of 15,020km.
  • The flight was operated on a Boeing 787-9 registration VH-ZNH, named “Great Barrier Reef.”
  • A total of 107 passengers were on board, plus 4 pilots who were on rotation during the flight and a team of 17 cabin crew, engineering and ground staff.
  • The route departed Buenos Aires, flying over the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica before crossing the Australian coast near the Great Australian Bight and descending in Darwin.
  • The aircraft operated with a maximum fuel load of approx. 126,000 litres.
Flight path QF14 Buenos Aires Darwin direct
Flight path QF14 Buenos Aires Darwin direct © Qantas

For plenty of ideas where you can ski off Qantas flights to South America check here https://snowaction.com.au/category/snow-travel/south-america/