There may be plenty of news about flights at the moment, but one small Pacific airline has quietly gone and broken a host of world records.
An Air Tahiti Nui 787 has just completed the world's longest commercial flight ever, the longest domestic flight ever, and the longest using a Dreamliner.
The journey from Pape'ete in Tahiti to Paris in France, covered 15,715 km and took 15 hours and 45 minutes.
The record for a regular commercial service is Singapore Airline's route between Singapore and Newark, which is 15,343 km.
Usually, the trip includes a stop-off in Los Angeles, but due to the new cornonavirus regulations in the US, the decision was made to make the journey in one go.
Flight TN64 took off from Pape'ete at 3am, local time on March 15, and landed in France at 5.54am on March 16 (also local time).
Aviation website Simple Flying reports that despite the range of a Boeing 787-9 typically being 14,800 km, it is likely that the unmodified plane was not at full capacity due to the downturn in worldwide travelling.
Because of COVID-19 flight restrictions, Air Tahiti Nui is operating its service to Paris non-stop from Papeete—without its normal stop at LAX.The flight is longer than SIN-EWR and at 15,715 km it is also the longest domestic flight in the world. https://t.co/n0WdZr37iM pic.twitter.com/SyCPPY2jc1— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 15, 2020
Air Tahiti Nui ordered five of the 787s to replace its aging fleet of Airbus A340-300s.
Each plane has 30 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats and 232 economy seats.
Late last year, Qantas flew several test flights between from London to Sydney and New York to Sydney. These flights covered 17,800 km and 16,200 km respectively, but had few passengers and limited baggage on board to reduce weight, thereby burning less fuel in order to cover the long distances.
Qantas is yet to make a final decision on whether it will go ahead with regular services on these routes and is in negotiations with Airbus to develop an A350 aircraft capable of flying them.
The world's longest (regular) flight routes
- Singapore-Newark, Singapore Airlines, 15,348 km
- Doha-Auckland, Qatar Airways, 14,535 km
- London-Perth, Qantas, 14,500 km
- Auckland-Dubai, Emirates, 14,199 km
- Los Angeles-Singapore, United Airlines, 14,114 km
- Houston-Sydney, United Airlines, 13,834 km
- Sydney-Dallas, Qantas, 13, 804 km
- New York-Manila, Philippine Airlines, 13,710 km
- San Francisco-Singapore, United Airlines & Singapore Airlines, 13,592 km
- Johannesburg-Atlanta, 13,581 km
- Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles, Etihad, 13,502 km
- Dubai-Los Angeles, Emirates, 13,420 km
- Jeddah-Los Angeles, Saudia, 13,409 km
- Doha-Los Angeles, Qatar Airways, 13,367 km
- Toronto-Manila, Philippine Airlines, 13,230 km