Air India’s flight AI173 flew 15,300 km from New Delhi to San Francisco on October 16 through the trans-Pacific route instead of the usual Atlantic route, which is shorter in length. Despite that, the non-stop flight was able to complete the journey in a record 14 hours and 30 minutes.
The eastern route meant that Air India’s Boeing-777 200LR flew 15,300 kilometres (9,506 miles), surpassing the previous holder of world’s longest flight, Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland route that clocks up 14,120 kilometres (8,825 miles). What’s more, by flying east over the Pacific, Air India took advantage of the 86mph tailwinds of the Jet Stream and knocked two hours off its flight time, covering the distance in just 14-and-a-half hours.
The Atlantic route would have subjected the flight to face the winds head-on, which would have slowed down the speed, and hence increased the duration of the flight and consumption of fuel.
Singapore Airlines prepares to reinstate its Singapore-New York route that will cover 16,500 kilometres (10,252 miles) in 19 hours so the record will not stand for long..