This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Last December, Air India started flying a new route between Delhi (DEL) and San Francisco (SFO) — a route that the carrier will be flying six times a week starting in November. From the launch of this new flight, Air India has been operating this flight on a transatlantic routing. But, on October 16, the airline decided to change it up and try a transpacific routing.
Despite being over 1,800 miles longer than the most direct route, this new transpacific routing took two hours less than scheduled and reportedly saved 13 tons of fuel. This routing covers more than 9,500 miles (15,300 km), which breaks the current record for the longest scheduled commercial flight held by Emirates’ Dubai (DXB) to Auckland (AKL) route. However, this new record will only stand until Singapore Airlines re-launches its JFK-SIN route in 2018.
Here’s Captain Rajneesh Sharma — the captain of the historic flight — to explain the flight:
Since we’re AvGeeks here at TPG, we had to look into the details of this historic flight.
Great Circle Mapper shows that the most direct route for this flight travels nearly directly north from Delhi (DEL) and through the Arctic before heading nearly directly south to arrive in San Francisco (SFO). This shortest route covers 7,706 miles (12,402 km).
Air India’s typical routing for this flight took it over northern Europe before crossing the Atlantic to approach North America. This route is nearly 1,000 miles longer than the direct route, at approximately 8,637 miles (13,900km).
The route that Air India used for this record-setting flight took the aircraft east instead of north. Note that, while this route seems shorter visually, this route is the longest of the three at over 9,500 miles (15,300 km) — which is over 1,800 more miles (2,900 km) than the most direct route. Despite this route being much longer, strong tailwinds help push the aircraft much faster than the other routings.
Another fun fact of this record-breaking trip: It departed the day after Air India’s 84th anniversary, but — upon crossing the international date line — the flight “went back in time” to celebrate the airline’s anniversary again.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards