The longest commercial flight in the world due to Covid-19 pandemic
Mar 26, 2020
On 15 March 2020, the flight TN064 of the airline Air Tahiti Nui (France) has just completed the longest commercial flight by distance in the world with a journey of up to 15,715 km, in nearly 16 hours, from Pape’ete in Tahiti to Paris, France.
As scheduled, this flight was supposed to land in Los Angeles, USA. However, due to the increasingly complicating situation of Covid-19 outbreak, the US airports were applying a series of new regulations to prevent disease including denying transits in the United States. Consequently, the flight TN064 was required to change the route and fly straightly to Paris.
According to the representative of Air Tahiti Nui airline, the flight TN064 (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft) was unluckily under an exceptional condition stemming from the restrictive measures of the US government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from European countries.
At the end of last year, Qantas Airways (Australia) actually hit a record for the longest flight of up to 17.800 km in 19 hours and 19 minutes, yet, it is just a test flight of Sunrise travelling project from London (UK) to Sydney (Australia). To reduce weights, the test flight carried fewer passengers and luggage, resulting in less fuel consumed, thus, was more optimised for a long-distance journey.
The affects of Covid-19 outbreak on the aviation industry
Qantas, the “Flying Kangaroo” of Australia has been grounding 150 planes until at least the end of May, including their 12 A380s. Furthermore, Thursday, 26 March 2020 may be the last time passengers can ride in one of Qantas’ red-tailed A380 aircraft as the largest airline in Australia is about to cut off A380s from their fleet.
Qantas’ Executive Traveller reveals that the flight on 26 March will depart from Sydney to London via Singapore. However, Singapore Changi Airport has just announced to ban transit passengers from 24 March onwards, which forces Qantas to come up with the solution of doing a 90-minute fuel stop at Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory before flying more than 16 hours to London.
Virgin Australia, the second-largest carrier in Australia is cutting fares and reducing flights from Sydney to Los Angeles as the demand for trans-Pacific travel has fallen considerably. The CEO and managing director Paul Scurrah of the company said that they were now facing the largest grounding of aircraft in national history. He also expressed the mindfulness that things may be operated in a very different way when the crisis ends.