This aviation record flew beneath the radar.
On Saturday, Air Tahiti Nui set a record for the longest-ever scheduled passenger flight — 9,765 miles from Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, to Paris.
Flight TN064 usually stops-over in Los Angeles — but thanks to US travel restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, it just flew straight from Tahiti to France.
Even though it was a one-off occurrence due to COVID-19, it was still a planned journey, and therefore broke the distance record previously held by Singapore Airlines’ 9,534-mile flight between Singapore and Newark.
The journey took just under 16 hours, which was well under the record time of 18 hours and 45 minutes still held by the Singapore-Newark flight.
Flight TN064 departed Papeete at 3 a.m. local time on March 14 and arrived at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport at 6:30 a.m. local time on March 15. The Boeing 787-9, a twin-engine Dreamliner, was staffed by four pilots and a “reinforced crew.”
The cabin was reportedly not full, which allowed the plane to travel for such a long way without refueling.
Air Tahiti Nui told CNN Travel that it was an “exceptional flight, operated in a special context.”
In September, Qantas tested out a nonstop flight between London, England, and Sydney, Australia, that stretched a mind-boggling 11,060 miles and lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes. But because the Australian carrier’s trial run, also on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, included no fare-paying passengers, it didn’t count towards any aviation records.
New York Post