Air India on Sunday has reportedly set another landmark. The flight between New Delhi to San Francisco which flies over Pacific Ocean set the record for operating the longest duration non-stop flight, the Times of India reported. Until last week, the Air India flight used to fly the route over the Atlantic Ocean. By flying over Pacific, the Air India flight covered over 15,300 km in 14.5 hours, almost 1400 km more than the previous route.
The flight, due to help from tailwinds, took two hours less than the actual route, in spite of it being longer in distance. “The Earth rotates from west to east, and winds flow in that direction too. Flying west means facing strong headwinds (that decreases an aircraft’s actual ground speed), and flying east means getting strong tailwinds, which does the opposite,” a senior AI official told Times of India.
The Atlantic route of Delhi-San Francisco, travelling non-stop for a distance of 13,900km, became the second-longest after Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland (14,120km). Air India’s Pacific route will continue to be the world’s longest nonstop flight for next two years, till Singapore Airlines launches the Singapore-New flight covering 16,500km in 19 hours.
The Boeing-777 200 flight carrier used by Air India on the route burns around 9,600 litres of fuel after every hour of flying. With the shorter flying time on the new Delhi-SFO route would lead to huge amount of fuel savings for the airline.
After Delhi-San Francisco route, Air India is now planning to starting a direct flight to Washington as well as serving new cities in the US soon.