Most economy passengers flying to Europe were likely quite pleased with the quicker time accomplished early Sunday (having taken off Saturday evening) while most business class passengers were feeling they didn’t get as much out of the experience as they paid for. This is in reference to British Airways flight 112 that took off from JFK and flew to London Heathrow in a record flight time of 4 hours and 56 minutes! Yes, the Concorde was faster but that was a supersonic record, this one is a subsonic.
New Speed Record Between NYC and London
This incredible speed record (for a subsonic commercial flight) was due to storm Ciara that brought some serious jet stream speeds. These speed helped the Boeing 747 flight to hit ground speeds of 825 mph, or to sustain airspeed of Mach .86. This was aided with the jet stream that hit speeds of 260 mph during that period of the storm. This allowed the flight to reach London Heathrow a full 80 minutes ahead of schedule!
The previous record for this was held by Norwegian with a flight time of 5 hours and 13 minutes. Not only is there a new first place holder, but, thanks to Ciara, there are also new second and third place holders on this route for record time. A Virgin Atlantic flight came in just one minute behind that time and another Virgin Atlantic flight was just three minutes behind that one. That means all these new flight records came in at or just under 5 hours across the pond from NYC – not bad at all!
Of course, flights going in the other direction were slowed down a bit by those same winds that carried these three flights to new records.
Featured image: Photo Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways