India’s national carrier now runs the world’s longest non-stop flight.
Air India’s New Delhi – San Francisco route now flies over the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic, earning it a place in the record books. The Pacific route is 1,400km longer than the Atlantic route, but despite the longer distance, is faster because of tailwinds. The flight covered 15,300 kilometers in 14.5 hours.
According to captain Rajneesh Sharma who captained the AI 173, flight, Air India has not only saved time but also managed to save fuel on this route, and the flight will be operational for the next 6 months. The fuel savings from this route should further help Air India’s bottom line – the airline recently reported an operating profit for the first time since 2007.
— Air India (@airindiain) October 23, 2016
“There has been a lot of contributions towards saving carbon footprint”, the captain said.
The route is expected to remain the world’s longest route for two years, until Singapore Airlines launches the Singapore-New York route that will cover 16,500km in 19 hours.
Notably, this feat was achieved just a day before the 80th birthday of the airline, and the same flight will be going back to Delhi on the Atlantic route, thus making it a round the world trip marking Air India’s 80th birth anniversary.
Air India had previously created a record when it flew its longest nonstop all-women crew flight between Delhi and San Francisco over the Atlantic Ocean.