Soon after
Air India
has hit the headlines for having started gaining profits, there’s a new record set once again. The Delhi-San Francisco(SFO) flight, which is generally operated over the
Atlantic
, has been flown over the Pacific, thus making Air India enter the record book for operating the world’s longest nonstop flight.

The route that Air India’s flight took is nearly 1,400km longer than the Atlantic one, and the flight covered 15,300 kilometres in 14.5 hours. Despite this, the flight took almost two hours less to reach the destination. All credit goes to tailwinds – winds that blow in the same direction as an aircraft and thus make it go faster.

“The Earth rotates from west to east, and winds flow in that direction too. Flying west means facing strong
headwinds
(that decreases an aircraft’s actual ground speed), and flying east means getting strong tailwinds, which does the opposite,” a senior
AI officia
l told The Times of India.

“While taking the (western) Atlantic route to SFO, we usually face headwinds of 24kmph. This means that if our aircraft is doing 800kmph, its actual ground speed is 776kmph. Taking the (eastern) Pacific route will mean getting tailwinds of 138kmph, which make the aircraft have an actual ground speed of 938kmph,” the official added.

At 13,900km, the Atlantic route of AI’s Delhi-SFO nonstop flight made it the worlds second-longest after Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland (14,120km). Now, AI’s Pacific route will remain the world’s longest nonstop route.

The four pilots, captains Rajneesh Sharma, Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar, and the 10
cabin crew members
who operated the first Delhi-SFO flight over the Pacific are ecstatic at setting this record.

“The aircraft took off from Delhi at 4am on Sunday (October 16) morning. We were in that date till Japan. After that, we crossed the international date line and were in October 15. By the time we landed in San Francisco, it was 6.30am on October 16 (local time in SFO),” one of the pilots told the TOI.



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