Coronavirus: Air Tahiti Nui sets new record for longest flight ever

Coronavirus: Air Tahiti Nui sets new record for longest flight ever

A special non-stop flight from Tahiti to France has set a new record for the longest flight ever flown.

Air Tahiti Nui usually operates its service between Pape'ete and Paris with a stopover in Los Angeles, but with travel restrictions in place in the US the airline decided to make the journey non-stop.

Covering 15,715km, the mammoth 15 hour, 45 minute flight was a few kilometres longer than the Singapore Airlines service between Singapore and Newark in the US, which covers a distance of 15,343km.

It's not only the world's longest international flight, but it's by far the longest domestic flight too - around 7000km longer than the regular flight between Boston and Honolulu operated by Hawaiian Airlines.

World's longest regular flights:

  1. Singapore - Newark, New Jersey: 15,344 km (taking 18 hours 45 minutes)
    Singapore Airlines Airbus A350
  2. Auckland - Doha: 14,535 km (taking 18 hours 20 minutes)
    Qatar Airways Boeing 777
  3. Perth - London: 14,499 km (taking 17 hours 20 minutes)
    Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
  4. Auckland - Dubai, New Jersey: 14,200 km (taking 17 hours 20 minutes)
    Emirates Airbus A380
  5. Singapore - Los Angeles: 14,113 km (taking 17 hours 50 minutes)
    Singapore Airlines Airbus A350

Tahiti is part of the French Polynesian islands, which despite being in the Pacific Ocean are a part of the French Republic.

Air Tahiti flight TN64 was operated by a six month old Boeing 787-9 which has a published maximum range of 14,800km, almost 1000km shorter than the length of this flight.

It has been reported the aircraft was able to make the trip because it was much lighter than regular flights. Passenger loads for some airlines are said to be as low as 20 percent, so it's possible the flight only had about 60 people onboard. 

Although the aircraft could make its way north non-stop, its return journey will require stops for fuel, with Vancouver and Guadeloupe reported to be the likely places the flight will top-up.

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