Thursday, October 11, 2018

AI Delhi-SFO to lose crown of being world's longest flight to SIA's Singapore-New York flight today

Singapore: Air India's Delhi to San Francisco (SFO) nonstop taking the Pacific route will on Thursday lose the crown of being the world's longest direct flight in terms of distance flown. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is restarting its direct flight from Changi to New York's Newark (EWR) airport that will cover a distance of 16,700 km in almost 19 hours. AI Delhi-SFO route over the Pacific flies 15,300 km in 15-16 hours.

SIA will use the Airbus A-350 ultra long range (ULR) that will tank up 1.14 lakh litres of fuel to fly this 161-seater aircraft with only premium economy and business cabins on the world's longest flight. The global aviation industry recognises Qatar Airways' Doha-Auckland as the current longest nonstop which covers a distance of 14,530 km in 17.5 hours, followed by Qantas' Perth-London 14,500 km and 17-hour flight.

"For the purpose of ranking nonstops, distance flown between two places on the shortest great circle route is considered. The shortest route from Delhi to SFO is over the Atlantic at 13,900 km. However flying east to west means getting strong headwinds. To avoid this, AI flies from Delhi to SFO over the Pacific route that is 1,400 km longer and comes to about 15,300 km to get tail winds that helps cut both travel time and fuel consumption compared to the Atlantic route. We don't take that route for setting a record but to save time and fuel," said an AI official. On the return journey, AI flies its Boeing 777 from SFO to Delhi over the Atlantic to get tail winds, making this a round-the-world flight.
11/10/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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