World's Longest Passenger Flight Will Steer Clear of Russia

Cathay Pacific plans it in effort to avoid flying over Russia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2022 2:33 AM CDT
In Avoiding Russia, Cathay Pacific Will Set a Record
A Cathay Pacific cargo plane carrying Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines prepares to dock at the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.   (Jerome Favre/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Cathay Pacific's New York to Hong Kong route typically flies over the Pacific Ocean, and Russia. In an effort to avoid Russia, however, it will now fly over the Atlantic Ocean—and thus become the world's longest passenger flight by distance. While the Hong Kong-based airline did not give a reason for the new route, the Guardian and Bloomberg both note that multiple airlines have been avoiding Russian airspace since Russia invaded Ukraine last month. "We are always running contingency routings for potential events or scenarios within the world of aviation" is all Cathay Pacific had to say on the matter, along with noting that "strong seasonal tailwinds" at this time of year make the new route more favorable than the old one.

Indeed, due to those tailwinds, the new route adds 2,254 miles to the trip but just an extra one to two hours, per the Points Guy. The new route will be "just under 9,000 nautical miles (10,357 miles)," per the airline. A nonstop flight from New York to Hong Kong on April 3 is now listed on Cathay Pacific's website, which says it will be in the air for 17 hours and 50 minutes. The new route overtakes a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to New York, currently the world's longest passenger flight at 9,534 miles, though that one still takes longer at 18 hours. (Read more Cathay Pacific stories.)

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