India’s official airline Air India breaks world record for world’s longest non-stop flight by flying Delhi to San Francisco (SFO) over the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic.
Air India’s flight AI173 flew 15,300 km from New Delhi to San Francisco through the trans-Pacific route instead of the usual Atlantic route, which is shorter in length. Despite that, the non-stop flight was able to complete the journey in a record 14 hours and 30 minutes. The Pacific route is almost 1,400km longer than the Atlantic one.
Before this record, the world’s longest non-stop flight was held by Emirates, which covered the Dubai-Auckland route, 14,200 km in length, in 16-and-a-half hours.
The four pilots, captains Rajneesh Sharma (who was the commander on the flight’s trans-Pacific route), Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar, and the 10 cabin crew members who operated the first Delhi-SFO flight over the Pacific are ecstatic at setting this record.
“The aircraft took off from Delhi at 4am on Sunday (October 16) morning. We were in that date till Japan. After that, we crossed the international date line and were in October 15. By the time we landed in San Francisco, it was 6.30am on October 16 (local time in SFO),” said one of the pilots.
Using this route, the Delhi-SFO burns 9,600 litres of fuel for each hour of flying, on an average.
Although Air India now holds the record for the longest flight, in two years, Singapore Airlines plans to break the record by flying from Singapore to New York, covering 16,500km in 19 hours.