The longest route flown by Dreamliner, the longest national route and the longest passenger flight in history – these are the records hit on Monday by Air Tahiti Nui, which become possible due to the circumstances related to coronavirus.
French Polynesian airline Air Tahiti Nui usually operates flights between Papeete (the capital of French Polynesia on Tahiti) and Paris with a stopover in Los Angeles. However French tourists carried by the airline were banned from visiting the US (since March 15) and the carrier decided to skip a stopover in California, Simple Flying reports.
The aircraft flew a distance of 15,715 km, which overtakes the world’s longest regular flight – Singapore Airline’s service between Singapore and Newark (15,343 km). Besides the Air Tahiti Nui flight is considered a domestic flight, so it turns out that the airline hit one more record operating the world’s longest domestic flight. The flight, according to FlightRadar24, lasted 15 hours and 45 minutes.
The range of a Boeing 787-9 is only 14,800 km. This is almost 1,000 km short of the required distance for this flight. For SIN-EWR service Singapore Airlines uses a specially modified ultra-long-range A350 with a premium heavy seating configuration to lower the carried weight.
Air Tahiti neither modified its Dreamliner for the flight, nor added additional fuel carrying capacity. It’s likely that the flight was achievable because it was half empty due to the current lack of demand.