Low-cost operator French Bee has carried out the world’s longest non-stop domestic commercial flight between Tahiti-Faa’a, French Polynesia and Paris Orly with an Airbus A350-900.
The A350-900 (registered F-HREY) took off from Tahiti-Faa’a International Airport at 10.51 am on Thursday, 14 May and landed at Orly at 3:40 pm on Friday, 15 May after a 16 hour, 49 minute flight on a route more than 8,709 nautical miles (16,129km).
The same aircraft had earlier carried out a cargo-only flight from Orly to Tahiti-Faa’a on 12 May with a stopover in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe).
“We are pleased and proud to have been able to complete this record flight under these exceptional circumstances. We would also like to highlight the commitment of our pilots, all volunteers for these flights, and also all of our partners in Orly and Papeete,” said Muriel Assouline, French Bee’s managing director. “This record confirms the Dubreuil Group’s choice of a unique fleet of Airbus A350s. It is the most advanced aircraft in the world in terms of energy efficiency.”
Chief pilot Ludovic André said, “The flight was carried out under standard performance conditions of the Airbus A350, with an average altitude of 12,500m, at a speed of 940 km/h. The A350’s fuel consumption qualities, 25 per cent less than a conventional long-haul aircraft, enabled it to cross these 16,129km.”