Cathay Pacific has recently been awarded the title of hosting the world’s longest commercial passenger flight. 

An odyssey of a flight

Hong Kong’s flag carrier runs a service from the country to New York, as the carrier’s Airbus A350 crosses both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. 

The flight was already gruelling, but due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine over a month ago and the chaotic impact it has had on the aviation industry due to airspace bans, the route has been expanded. 

The return leg, from New York to Hong Kong, is officially the world’s longest commercial passenger flight as a consequence. 

This change has meant that Singapore Airlines is set to lose its title of hosting the longest commercial flight. 

Singapore’s flag carrier’s route from Singapore to New York has previously been the longest flight one could endure. A non-stop route that covers 9,573 miles, the journey on the A350 lasts nearly 19 hours in both directions.  

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines is one of ten airlines to offer an extra long-haul service with flights over 10 hours | © Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

Cathay Pacific’s route is longer, as the route covers approximately 10,300 miles, and lasts between 16 – 17 hours. 

The Hong Kong to New York connection shall fly across the Pacific Ocean, crossing the US coast near the city of Seattle, then onto new york. 

The return connection from New York to Hong Kong will fly across the Atlantic Ocean in order to utilise the jetstream from the tailwinds that pick up at this time of year. 

In normal circumstances, the route has an average flight time of around 15 ½ hours to cover 8,000 miles in an Airbus A350.

However, this title is unlikely to be held by Cathay Pacific for long. This is because as the winds over the Atlantic and Pacific pick up, the flights become quicker. 

Changes elsewhere 

Cathay Pacific has already had to adopt revised flight plans in reaction to the banned Russian airspace.

The Hong Kong to London route now avoids Ukraine and Russian airspace, opting to fly over the likes of nearby countries such as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan instead. 

In mid-March, we reported on Cathay Pacific’s impressive restructuring efforts to reshape pilot recruitment. 

What do you think about the new world’s longest flight? Let us know! 

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