The world’s longest flight is about to take off. Cathay Pacific Airlines is considering changing the course of its route from Hong Kong to New York, making it the longest flight by miles traveled.
Cathay Pacific’s normal path from Hong Kong to New York goes over the Pacific Ocean, whereas the proposed new route will take the airline over the Atlantic Ocean. If approved, the flight will cover 10,357 standard miles. That is more than the current longest flight between Singapore and New York on Singapore Airlines, which covers 9,534 miles.
While the airline is not commenting on why specifically its changing its route, avoiding Russian airspace since its invasion of Ukraine could be one reason. Another reason: wind conditions.
“We are always running contingency routings for potential events or scenarios within the world of aviation,” the airline said in a statement. “We compare flight routes daily, and will plan and fly what is the most efficient routing on the day,”
The airline says strong seasonal winds in the spring favor the transpacific route by keeping flight time below 17 hours.
Even if Cathay Pacific begins running the new route, it may not be the longest flight in the world for long. Two airlines are announcing plans to add new long-haul flights to their schedules. Air New Zealand is eyeing a nonstop flight between Auckland and New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport, which would require more than 17 hours of flying time. It launches in September 2022. Similarly, Qantas is adding a nonstop flight from Melbourne to Dallas in December 2022.
Before you board that long-haul flight, read our tips on how to stay comfortable, plus check out our guides to both Hong Kong and New York City.