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First commercial flight to Southern Lights

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/03/2017

The first commercial flight to the Southern Lights is due to take off from Dunedin.

At 9pm on Thursday, a chartered Boeing 767 will depart for the Aurora Australis, organised by Otago Museum director Ian Griffin .

He decided to curate the flight when he saw the lights last year on a similar trip with Nasa.

As a guest of the former US Ambassador to New Zealand, Mr Griffin was invited aboard the SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

All 154 seats on the Air New Zealand flight sold out within five days.

An economy seat was going for $2000, and business class at $4000 for the nine hour flight.

The moon is not set to rise until 3am, allowing the best view of the lights and there's a 99 per cent chance of seeing an aurora.

Mr Griffin posted on the Flight to the Lights Facebook page earlier on Thursday informing the group that there was fog at Dunedin airport, but was hoping it would clear in time.

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