The world is dealing with canceled flights and travel bans from all around, and the aviation industry has hit an unexpected milestone. It seems that there is a new world aviation record.
On March 14, French airline Air Tahiti Nui flew the longest ever passenger flight by distance, CNN Travel reports. The figures show that the company's Boeing 787 landed in Paris after departing from Papeete Airport 15 hours and 45 minutes earlier.
The flight had traveled a distance of 9,764 miles.
The milestone was a result of COVID-induced US travel restrictions since the flight had to be operated on an exceptional basis.
The route normally involved a scheduled stopover at Los Angeles International Airport. On a normal day, passengers would deplane and would need to process through US Customs. However, President Donald Trump had suspended all travel from Europe to the US for 30 days in order to contain the spread of the virus four days ago. The crew had to act within the constraints imposed by the American authorities.
As a result, with 130 passengers on board, the flight TN064 had to cross the Americas straight as it flew to its destination.
The flight was airborne for almost 16 hours and became the world’s longest commercial flight in terms of distance traveled. The aircraft flew with a crew of four pilots and was operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Moreover, since the aircraft wasn’t completely full, it was able to proceed with the whole journey, without a need for a refuel.
As you can guess, this was a one-time thing. Now, Air Tahiti Nui has adapted its flight plan, and the flight will make its stopover at Pointe-à-Pitre, on the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.