Flights To and Around the Falkland Islands: All You Need to Know

Falkland Island Flights

If you’re considering exploring the amazing Falkland Islands, then one of the first things you need to know about is the Falkland Island flights – how to find them, how to book them and how to catch them!

After all, flying to the Falkland Islands is not a straightforward affair!

With incredibly limited international connections, planning and booking early is of the essence, so mapping out your flights to the Falkland Islands needs to be the first step in any adventure.

I recommend around year before your departure!

Here to fill you in on how to do this, is my full guide…

Chile, Punta Arenas, Landing Flight


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Getting to the Falklands – International Flight Options

Chile, Punta Arenas Flight, Plane Internal

Remote and sparsely populated, with pretty few tourists, it’s fair to say the Falkland islands are not the easiest to get to!

But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from trotting around the globe over the last 15 years, it’s that the places hardest to get to are ALWAYS the best!

And with a maximum of only 3 flights to the Falklands a week, it’s pretty fair to say these islands fall into this category!

But stick with me as we go through this flight info, because getting to the Falkland Islands really is worth it!

When it comes to top line info, the first thing you need to know is that, due to the limited flights, you really need to book and plan your travel to the Falkland Islands well in advance.

For those getting there by plane (as opposed to ship!), there’s only 2 types of flights, which leave from 2 departure points – the UK and Chile.

These are your only options for getting to the Falklands by air!

Given the infrequency of flights, you also need to plan to spend at least a week or 2 on the islands, as there’s not many plane route combinations that will allow you to visit them for less than 7 days!

Flight delays are also very common, both for international and domestic services here, so I also wouldn’t travel to the Falklands for less than a week, given the likelihood of at least one of your flights being delayed or cancelled!


Getting to the Falklands – Flight Route 1: Airbridge MOD Service

Flight to Falkland Islands, Plane, Me

Pros: Most frequent and quickest service.

Cons: Expensive, often unreliable and very limited seats. Passengers sometimes get bumped as MOD personnel take precedence.


The first of the Falkland Island flight routes is really only an option for British residents only.

And that’s because this service is operated by the British defence force, meaning flights leave from the RAF base Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, England.

In general, these flights run twice a week (usually outbound on Sundays and Wednesdays).

These flights are direct (there’s a short refuel stop in Ascension island only) and take around 15 hours to reach the Falklands.

The refuel stop used to be in Cape Verde, but as of late 2023, this has changed to Ascension Island.

Around 30 seats on each of these Ministry of Defence (MOD) flights are reserved for Falkland Islanders and visitors, but these tickets don’t take precedence over military personnel, so passengers must prepare for disruption!

Last minute changes are common on these flights too, so if you choose to fly to the Falkland this way, you must make sure you factor a few days contingency into your travel plans to accommodate any delayed or cancelled journeys.

Tickets for this Airbridge flight service (as it’s known) cannot be booked commercially, but must be requested through the Falklands Islands Government London Office, by contacting the Travel Co-ordinator on [email protected].

Prices are not cheap, so expect to pay around £2500 for this return Falkland’s flight.


Getting to the Falklands – Flight Route 2: LATAM Service from Chile

Chila, Santiago, Holiday Inn Airport Hotel

Pros: Most reliable and cheapest service. The option to explore Patagonia and Santiago too.

Cons: Long – 2 days travel for most!


The other flight route for the Falkland Islands is the commercial route, operated by LATAM airways – a Chilean carrier that is part of the One World Alliance.

This flight route involves getting to Chile first, most often the capital, Santiago.

Santiago has direct connections to London, Sydney, South Africa, the USA and more.

I used this option to fly to the Falkland Islands and got an overnight British Airways flight to Santiago direct from Heathrow.

You can also fly from London to Sao Paulo with British Airways and then connect to Santiago from there with LATAM.

Both these routes generally involves a long layover in Santiago, before your onward flight to the Falklands, but thankfully the Holiday Inn at this airport is good and perfect for overnight stays.

With free wifi, a good bar and restaurant, not to mention a sauna and pool, the Holiday Inn is located within the Santiago Airport complex and can be easily reached on foot from both terminals.

Book a stay at this hotel here.

From Santiago, you can then catch a 7 hour LATAM flight to the Falklands – via Punta Arenas.

It’s a 3 hour flight to Punta Arenas from Santiago, usually 2 hours waiting there, and then another 1.5hr flight to the Falklands.

During these 2 hours at Punta Arenas, you’ll need to disembark, clear immigration, get a fresh boarding pass and pass security before re-boarding the plane, which is quite a lot to fit into this short time, so don’t hang around!

Alternatively, you can just book a seat on the LATAM flight from Punta Arenas direct to the Falkland Islands and skip Santiago all together.

If you want to combine your time in the Falklands with a trip to Patagonia, this is a great option, as you can use Punta Arenas as a base to explore this region, either on your way to or from the Falkland Islands.

The LATAM commercial flight route to the Falklands can be booked like a regular plane and is cheaper than MOD flight, at price of around £1500 return.

I recommend booking flights through Skyscanner, as I find they tend to have the best deals around.

Usually you can fly with 23kg of luggage on LATAM flights and enjoy the chance to upgrade to Premium Economy or Business class.

On the London Heathrow – Santiago leg, which is a pretty hefty 15 hour direct flight, this might not be a bad idea!


Arriving on the Falklands – Mount Pleasant Airport to Stanley

Flight London to Santiago, British Airways, Economy

Despite the capital being Stanley, you may be surprised to learn that your international flights to or from the Falkland Islands will not land, or depart, here.

Instead, international Falkland Island flights both land and depart from Mount Pleasant Airport (MPN), which is located on the island East Falkland, about a 90 minute drive from Stanley.

This airport is part of a UK military base, so there are strict rules here, with absolutely no photography allowed and uniformed police patrolling the arrivals area.

Biosecurity is also tight at this airport, so don’t be surprised if your boots are washed on arrival and ensure you have disposed of all fresh produce in advance.

As there’s no car hire or public transport to the airport, do make sure you arrange a pickup or shuttle with your Stanley accommodation – with only 1 flight a week, it’s easy to ensure you get a ride!

The shuttle will take you straight to your accommodation – a godsend if you’re arriving at 1am after a 12 hour delay as I was!

Immigration can also be a slow process at MPN, so expect it to take at least an hour from your disembarkation of the plane until everyone makes it onto the shuttle bus and departs for Stanley.

You will get a stamp with a cute penguin when you enter the Falkland however, so it’s probably worth the wait!

Patience is the key here – you’re on Falkland time now!

Yes, something I quickly learnt when it comes to flying to the Falklands, is don’t expect things to have a sense of urgency!

The remote location and dramatic weather patterns of these islands means delays and hiccups are often a part of life here.


Getting Around the Falklands – FIGAS Domestic Flights

Falklands, Sea Lion Island, FIGAS Plane, Me and Landing Strip

The other key Falklands flights that you need to know about are the domestic air services.

After all, in an archipelago this remote and vast, flight transport forms the backbone of inter-island travel here.

Thankfully, the government-run FIGAS service (which stands for Falkland Islands Government Aviation Service) is incredibly efficient.

It’s been a key part of island life here since 1948 and now boasts 5 pilots among its team, plus a host of ground handling staff and 5 aircrafts – all Britten-Norman BN-2B Islanders.

There’s a huge number of landing strips across the Falkland Islands where these small planes touch down to move, deliver and collect locals, tourists, freight, parcels and animals alike!

FIGAS also offer Round Robin flights, commercial charter operations and scenic flights for tourists, although the latter 2 of these are considerably more expensive than their A-B services.

If you’re travelling around the Falklands Islands beyond East Falkland (where Stanley and Mount Pleasant are located), it’s likely you’ll need to use the FIGAS service.

A bit like a local taxi service, bookings are made by calling +500 27219 or emailing [email protected].

Flights cost about £70 one way and must be paid in advance.

You will state your destination point, desired arrival point and the day of travel and then you wait to hear what time your flight will be.

This is announced the day before on local radio and the FIGAS facebook page.

If you’re leaving from one of the main airports – Stanley or Mount Pleasant – you’ll need to be there 30 minutes before departure to have your luggage and body weighed.

Luggage is capped at 14kg and excess weight is charged at a rate of £1.55 per kg!

On any of the other islands, you’ll need to drive with your host to the landing strip about 20 minutes before the plane’s arrival, where you’ll tune in the radio to speak to the pilot, raise the windsock and wait for the plane to come in!

Flying with FIGAS is a very relaxed affair, but offers a wonderful insight into local life and is quite an amazing experience – I loved it!

On clear days, you get amazing views of the Falkland islands when using the service, as you fly quite low, but this does mean these flights are also easily disrupted by by weather, especially fog.

Indeed, I had a whole day of my Falklands itinerary cancelled because the fog wouldn’t lift and I couldn’t fly anywhere until around 7pm at night.

Such is life in remote islands!

When flying with FIGAS, try to sit in the front seat with the pilot at least once if you can (Capitan Dan is great!), otherwise take ear plugs for the back seats, as it can be noisy in these small planes.

A love of flying (or at least not a fear!) is essential here!




So there you have it, my full guide to Falkland Island flights… and what you need to know about booking and planning for this adventure!

Hope the info was helpful, but any more questions you have, don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments box below…


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Mini Travel Guide to the Falkland Islands

Chile, Santiago, Airport Domestic Terminal

When to Visit the Falklands?

It’s best to visit during the island’s spring and summer season between November and February.


How Long to Spend in the Falklands?

I recommend 7-14 days across the islands.


Where to Stay in the Falklands?

In Stanley, choose from Malvina House Hotel or Tu Guesthouse.

In the outer-lying islands, Sea Lion Lodge, Pebble Lodge and Boxwood Pod at Hill Cove are my picks.


Recommended Falkland Island Tours

If you’re keen to travel to the Falkland Islands, check out these amazing tours!


Top 5 Packing Items for the Falklands

Windproof Coat Merino Base Layers UV Sunglasses 30+ SPF Face Sunscreen British Adapter


Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money

There’s only 1 bank in the Falklands (in Stanley), so it pays to have some British cash on you, as well as a debit and credit card.

All the island lodges allow you to pay on card, which is what I did, using my Wise card.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, my Wise card works just like a debit card… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.


My trip to the Falklands was sponsored by Falkland Island Tourism but, as always, all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


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