The chaos caused by COVID-19 has grounded flights and left passengers scrambling to return home. Airlines have had to think on their feet and that’s had some unintended consequences, including a new world record for the longest distance passenger flight.
The Longest Flight in the World by Distance in 2020
On March 14, Air Tahiti Nui flight TN064 flew its Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Papeete nonstop to Paris, covering 9,775 miles in 15 hours and 45 minutes. That beat the previous record held by Singapore Airlines flying 9,534 miles from Singapore to Newark.
The Air Tahiti Nui flight usually includes a scheduled stopover in Los Angeles but was barred from doing so in light of recent travel restrictions meant to contain the virus.
A Boeing 787 can hold as many as 330 passengers but this one was only carrying 130. With fewer passengers and less weight on board, the aircraft had enough extra fuel to make the long trip without stopping.
The French carrier was quick to state that this was a one-time-only affair and will not become a regularly scheduled flight. Instead of connecting via Los Angeles, Air Tahiti Nui will make future stopovers in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
You can view the record-breaking flight details in full at FlightAware.
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