Fastest Subsonic Commercial Transatlantic Flight Occurred on Monday JFK – London

by Adam

On Monday, a Norwegian B787-9 Dreamliner from JFK landed in Gatwick (LGW) after just 5 hours and 13 minutes. That is the fastest on record for a commercial aircraft beating the previous record of 5 hours and 16 minutes thanks to the jet stream. The flight reached a top speed of 776 mph, just a bit faster than the previous day which completed the flight in 5 hours and 20 minutes.

The Norwegian captain told Business Insider:

“We were actually in the air for just over five hours and if it had not been for forecasted turbulence at lower altitude, we could have flown even faster. The 787 Dreamliner is a pleasure to fly and it’s a great feeling to know that we have set a new record in this aircraft.”

The supersonic Concorde record from JFK to LHR occurred on 2/7/96 with a flight time of 2 hours and 53 minutes aboard British Airways.

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joe January 19, 2018 - 2:28 pm

As climate change progresses and causes the jet stream to strengthen, these record breaking flights will be increasingly common. They will be breaking two records: shortest eastbound flight, and longest westbound flight.

Al January 19, 2018 - 7:56 pm

Your article and the Business Insider article are actually inaccurate. 776 mph was the ground speed but air speed was somewhat 200 mph slower. By stating 776mph it implies that the plane went supersonic which by definition is 760mph and above at sea level. No way a subsonic plane can go supersonic.

LosAngeles January 21, 2018 - 3:41 am

These early arrivals are some of the most challenging issues we experience as airport/airline operations coordinators. Because tailwind considerations are not built into scheduled block time by network, if the flight departs on time, then they can oftentimes arrive 90-120 minutes early when no gate is yet available. Imagine hudreds of flight arriving earlier than planned. At some destinations like Sydney, the airport may not even be open yet and the flight will have to loiter in a holding pattern off the coast until the noise curfew has been lifted. If the flight’s origin is many thousands of miles away, from a logistical standpoint it’s not possible to carry enough fuel to loiter in pattern on arrival, so the only choice is to delay the flight at origin. Imagine delaying hundreds of flights at origin. Of course, passengers can’t wrap their heads around this concept so inevitably most worry about missing their connecting flight and queue to express concern with gate agents when not required. Early arrivals are awful.


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