As a result of a ban from flying over Russian territory, Cathay Pacific has reconfigured its nonstop service between New York Airport (JFK) and Hong Kong Airport (HKG), which will now become the longest passenger route in terms of distance. It will be operated by Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
To circumvent Russian airspace, Cathay Pacific's flight will now cross the Atlantic to fly over the United Kingdom, then to southern Europe, and across Central Asia to reach Hong Kong. Previously, Cathay flew over the Arctic and over central Russia, which represented a distance of 12,990 kilometers and a flight time of 15 hours.
The new route will cover 19,123 kilometers, which puts it above Singapore Airlines' flight between New York and Singapore (17,662 kilometers). However, Cathay Airlines' flight will last 17 hours against Singapore's 17 hours and a half.
The route change was communicated through an internal memorandum which pointed out that the Airbus A350-1000 fleet will be able to comply with it without further inconveniences, with a fuel consumption similar to the previous transpacific trajectory.
Avoiding Russian airspace - one of the largest in the world - has become a challenge for international flights, with some routes lifted altogether.