A recent British Airways journey from New York City to London has broken the record for fastest subsonic flight on the busy, popular route, with the overall time clocking in at just under five hours.
The airline confirmed a report released by Flight Radar 24 that had a BA Boeing 747-400 landing in London after a flight time of four hours and 56 minutes last weekend, approximately two hours ahead of schedule. According to the website, the aircraft was able to capitalise on a well-placed strong jet stream in order to make it to England in record time. Storm Ciara resulted in extreme winds travelling at over 200 miles per hour, something that proved beneficial to the aircraft en route in the same direction.
The plane set down at 4:43am after having travelled at a top speed of 825 miles per hour. “During its speed record cruise across the Atlantic, BA112 travelled at a consistent Mach 0.86 or 86% of the speed of sound. Because the speed of sound is relative to the air mass in which the aircraft is travelling, the flight does not ‘break the sound barrier’,” Flight Radar 24 wrote on its website.
“We always prioritise safety over speed records, but our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time,” a representative of British Airways told Lonely Planet.
The previous record was held by a Norwegian 787, a plane that flew from New York City to London Gatwick in five hours and 13 minutes.
It wasn’t all good travel news though, as Storm Ciara caused many flight disruptions over the weekend, grounding flights across some of Europe’s busiest airports. Houses were also left without power as a result of the severe weather.