The longest passenger flight in the world to avoid Russian airspace

(Bloomberg) — Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. is planning to shift its services between New York and Hong Kong to avoid Russian airspace, on what will be the world’s longest commercial passenger flight by distance.

The airline plans to take off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to fly over the Atlantic, the United Kingdom, southern Europe and Central Asia, according to a memo sent to Cathay Airlines crew seen by Bloomberg News. FlightRadar24 data shows that the distance of 16,618 kilometers will exceed Singapore Airlines Limited’s service to New York, which takes about 17 1/2 hours to cover 15,349 kilometers. Cathay’s new flight will take about 17 hours.

A Cathay spokeswoman said the Airbus SEA350-1000 is capable of operating the route that normally flies over the North Pole and through Russian airspace. Many Asian airlines are avoiding Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Kathy has applied for overflight permits to operate the service, which she said is normal for a new route. Before the pandemic, which significantly reduced its flight routes, the airline operated up to three daily round-trip flights between Hong Kong and JFK.

Several airlines changed their routes to avoid Russia’s skies, especially between Asia and Europe. Japan Airlines Ltd. has rerouted its services from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to London’s Heathrow to fly via Alaska and Canada instead of flying over Siberia. That added four and a half hours to the 11-hour-55-minute flight.

These flight adjustments are likely only temporary given the costs airlines face due to higher oil prices, as well as uncertainty over access to Russian airspace.

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original note:

The longest passenger flight in the world was planned to avoid Russian airspace

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