A Series of Unexpected Flights - Part I - Virgin Atlantic 787

Welcome to A Series of Unexpected Flights, a set of reports where I fly real routes operated for… unexpected reasons!

Today’s flight is VS501 operated by Virgin Atlantic between London Heathrow and the small town of Harstad, Norway. Surely you’d wonder how did a small town in Northern Norway join VS’s premium network of destinations but the answer is very simple - 🐟🐟🐟🐟!

Why Norway?

Norway is well known to be the largest Atlantic salmon farming nation. The airport of Harstad-Narvik is incredibly well positioned and equipped to meet the demands for fresh fish. Acting as a military base as well, it’s 2808m (9200ft) runway has seen the likes of C-5 and C-17 aircraft, 747s bringing tourists in for Arctic cruises and lots of feesh charters! FedEx MD-11 flying to Japan via Anchorage, VS flying to the UK or the Qatar 777 flying to Luxembourg. Pretty unexpected right?!

Flight details

Origin: London Heathrow (EGLL/LHR)
Destination: Harstad-Narvik Airport, Evenes (ENEV/EVE)
Aircraft: 787-9
Airline: Virgin Atlantic (VS)
Server: Expert
PAX load: 6 flight crew
Flight time: 2h48’

Cargo charter flight, no PAX service.

1 - Getting fuelled for the upcoming trip, surprised to see several AF baby buses at Terminal 3!

2 - Banking left after a 09R takeoff, for our northern bound bearing!

3, 4, 5 - Cruise is pretty much all sea and then we reach the amazing Norwegian coast!

6 - Starting the descent procedure, all set for landing on Runway 17.

7 - Seems cold outside! Temperature -5* C, wind 330/18kts.

8 - Managed to land this beautiful machine and she’s ready to bring some 21000kg of fresh feesh back home!

Thanks for stopping by!


Nice pictures 🤩

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Thanks mate!

Awesome pics. photo 6 is my fav :))

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The VS bird is quite a looker isn’t she!

These are some really beautiful pics 🤩✈️

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Thanks, @Furwani - and they’ve got a great story behind them as well! 😃

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Damn those cruise photos tho chefs kiss 👌

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I know right? The VS 787 is not only a workhorse but an absolute beauty.