A British Airways flight has set a new speed mark for a commercial passenger plane crossing the Atlantic. The fight landed early Sunday morning at Heathrow Airport in London after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York just four hours and 56 minutes earlier.
British Airways confirmed the flight time for the Boeing 747 plane, saying the company prioritizes safety over speed. That set a new speed record for subsonic — or slower than the speed of sound — commercial aircraft, according to Flightradar24, which tracks global flights.
The previous record was held by a Norwegian Air flight, which flew between the two cities with a flight time of five hours and 13 minutes. The flight had been expected to take 102 minutes longer.
The recent average flight time between New York and London is 6 hours and 13 minutes, according to Flightradar24. The wind and air currents were considered ideal for a fast flight. The supersonic Concorde flights used to fly across the Atlantic in just over three hours, but stopped flying in 2003.
“The flight was riding a much stronger than usual jet stream, with winds over 200 mph propelling the aircraft,” says senior CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
“The supercharged jet stream is also responsible for powering Storm Ciara, which has brought damaging wind gusts and massive waves to the UK, Ireland and other parts of Northern Europe this weekend.
“The jet stream is a fast moving ‘river of air’ high in the atmosphere, around the height that commercial airliners fly. The jet stream is responsible for carrying weather systems around the planet.”
The plane landed at Heathrow airport at 4:43 a.m., almost two hours earlier than scheduled. Its top speed during the flight was 825mph (1,327km/h), according to Flightradar24, an online flight-tracking service.