There’s a new world’s longest flight — with a catch



(CNN) — Final week it was the return of the world’s longest flight — Singapore to New York JFK. This week comes one other new aviation file: the world’s longest flight in a single-aisle plane.

Air Transat flight TS690 flew transatlantic from Montreal, Canada, to Athens, Greece, on Monday — a journey of seven,600 kilometers, or 4,754 miles. Thus far, so regular — besides the eight-hour, 32-minute flight was carried out in a narrowbody Airbus A321neoLR.

It was the longest business flight {that a} single-aisle plane has been used for.

Though most individuals would flinch on the concept of a transatlantic flight in a single-aisle plane, financial system class seats are 1.5 inches wider than in Air Transat’s Airbus 310 — although the seat pitch is a normal 31 inches. Membership Class — the premium financial system part with recliner seats and a 38-inch pitch — has an intimate 12 seats.

A take a look at flight went even additional

Whereas it could have damaged the file, Montreal to Athens isn’t the furthest the A321LR has flown. In 2018 it accomplished a take a look at flight from Mahé, Seychelles, to Toulouse, France — an 11-hour, 5,466-mile flight. On that event, nevertheless, as a substitute of passengers, the aircraft was geared up with heat-emitting dummies.

Earlier than this week, the file for a business flight was WOW Air’s Reykjavik to LA flight in 2018 — eight hours 40 minutes, and 6,927 kilometers (4,304 miles).

And it appears just like the plane will likely be flying a lot extra long-haul routes sooner or later — particularly with demand at a historic low as a consequence of Covid, and a gradual restoration predicted.

TAP Air Portugal launched flights with the plane from Lisbon to Maceió, Brazil, this yr, in addition to to Boston (through Ponta Delgada within the Azores), and Montreal. CEO Antonoaldo Neves has known as the plane a “game-changer.” Norwegian additionally has 30 of the plane on order for its long-haul routes.

Air Transat additionally makes use of the plane for its Toronto — London Gatwick and Montreal — Paris routes.

The aircraft can carry as much as 199 passengers, making it guess for the post-Covid restoration. Till now, the airline was utilizing Airbus A330s on the route, which might carry as much as 375 passengers.

Headwinds brought about issues

The one drawback: headwinds. They meant that for the return flight, the aircraft wanted to refuel at Paris Charles de Gaulle. Winter climate situations imply that is extra prone to occur than in the summertime.

This was the final flight of the season. The airline will announce which plane it’s going to use for the 2021 season nearer to the time.

So, what’s a long-haul flight like on a single-aisle aircraft? It relies upon how vulnerable you’re to claustrophobia and the easy feeling that crossing continents on a narrow-body aircraft is “wrong.”

For Kristi Clough, who’s flown from her residence in Washington, DC, to Germany on a single-aisle plane, in addition to flying residence from Brazil, the narrow-body “felt too small and ‘wrong’ for those journeys.”

However one other frequent flier who used to commonly fly the single-aisle Boeing 757 between Eire and the US, instructed CNN that he discovered the expertise “perfectly acceptable in economy, especially on daytime flights.”

Little doubt just like the 17-hour ultra-long-haul direct flight from London Heathrow to Perth in Australia, which Qantas debuted in 2018, and Singapore Airways’ path to JFK, flying long-haul on a single-body plane will quickly change into a take a look at of endurance — and even perhaps a boasting level for frequent fliers.



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