Officials confirmed that the Air India flight took off from Delhi at 4 am on October 16, crossed the International Date Line and landed at San Francisco at 6.30 am local time on October 16. While the airline previously used the Atlantic route which is around 1,400 kms shorter, tailwinds offered increased speed to the carrier while the airline will use the Atlantic route for its return trip to take advantage of tailwind speeds in the opposite direction.
This maiden flight across the Pacific Ocean accomplished by Air India, covered a distance of 15,300 kms in 14.5 hours while tail winds aided in increased speed and reduced fuel costs.
Flight commander Capt. Rajneesh Sharma has confirmed that this fuel saving Pacific route will be used over the next six months. Boeing 777-200LR (Long Ranve) flight carrier used by Air India on this particular route utilizes around 9,600 liters of fuel per hour of flying while the shorter route will lead to huge fuel saving as it reduces flight time by 3-4 hours.
The new Delhi San – Francisco Pacific route now remains the world’s longest nonstop route at 15,300 kms followed by the Emirates Dubai Auckland route at 14,120 kms. However, this record be broken by Singapore Airlines once the Singapore-New York direct flight is launched. This will cover a distance of 16,500 kms in 19 hours. The flight will go operational in about 2 years time.
Below are the specs of the Bowing 777-200LR which is used by Air India to cover the distance.
|No. of Seats||8||35||195|
|Seat Pitch (inches)||88″||76″||34″|
|Seat Width Between armrest (inches)||23″||19.95||18″|
|Current Fleet Size (Owned/Leased/Total)||3/0/3|
|Maximum Take-off Weight||347.8 tons|
|Wing Span||212.6 ft|
|Overall Length||209 ft|
|Overall Height||61.8 ft|
|Cabin Width||19.1 ft|
|Wing Area||4,605 sq ft|
|Average Cruise Speed||0.84 mach|
|Maximum Operating Altitude||43,100 ft|
|Maximum Fuel Capacity||148.7 tons|
|Maximum Thrust||110,100 lbs|
|No of Engines||2|