Cathay Pacific is preparing to launch the world’s longest flight. The Hong Kong based airline is re-routing its New York to Hong Kong service to avoid Russia (meaning it will now swing out over the Atlantic then swing back in). This blows out the distance travelled to 16,668km, which it plans to complete in 16 to 17 hours.
The news broke after Bloomberg reported on a memo sent to Cathay Pacific staff. A spokesperson for the airline has said Airbus SE’s A350-1000 can handle the journey.
At the time of writing, the world’s longest flight is Singapore to New York, which is run by Singapore Airlines, and is a distance of 15,349kms (though this one’s shorter in distance than the proposed Cathay Pacific flight, it is actually longer in time, taking, on average 17 hours and 31 minutes).
In any case, on Tuesday evening, Cathay Pacific listed its soon-to-be flight on its website for the 3rd of April.
Cathay Pacific is yet to comment on why they are changing the route now, having previously been flying over Russian airspace.
Cathay Pacific isn’t the only airline giving Russia a wide berth. Having to reroute flights is hurting a number of airlines’ bottom lines, including Finnair’s.
Before The Spicy cough took over the world in 2020, Cathay Pacific operated three return trips between New York and Hong Kong every day.
Demand is much lower now, with flights being cancelled all the time.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Cathay Pacific was still in the process of “seeking overflight permits to operate the service, which it said was normal for a new route.”