Air India nailed the record of having the first ever flight to flown over the Pacific Ocean from Delhi to San Francisco. It altered the direction of travel from crossing to the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is now considered as the "World's Longest Nonstop Flight" covering 15,300 kilometers in 14.5 hours which is nearly 1,400km longer than the Atlantic direction.
One of the pilot said, "The aircraft took off from Delhi at 4am on Sunday (October 16) morning. We were in that date until 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."
The successful flight was operated by Captains Rajneesh Sharma, Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar. Ten cabin crew members also participated in completing the victory.
A senior official explained in a report of Times of India how they circumnavigated the globe to covet the title, "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. While taking the (western) Atlantic route to SFO, we usually face headwinds of 24kmph. This means that if our aircraft is doing 800kmph, its actual ground speed is 776kmph. Taking the (eastern) Pacific route will mean getting tailwinds of 138kmph, which make the aircraft have an actual ground speed of 938kmph."
In Air India's Twitter account, Captain Rajneesh Sharma said that the route saved about 13 tons of fuel.
The former world's longest flight holder is Emirates' Dubai-Auckland. An Airbus 380, the world's largest passenger plane, left Dubai and landed in Auckland after navigating 14,200 kilometers.
Singapore also plans to compete, with a direct flight to New York, but the proposal will take at least two more years to materialize.
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