Virgin Australia operates one of the world’s longest flight

Virgin Australia operates one of the world's longest flight

Virgin Australia operates one of the world’s longest flight. Virgin Australia operated a repatriation flight to Paris and this record was make while returning to Brisbane from Paris.

The aircraft flew for around 20 hours non-stop after precise planning by the crew as well as external factors. For the past few weeks, we have been seeing a lot of records being broken with airlines flying to places they would not have on a scheduled basis and covering distances on the line of repatriation flights.


Virgin Australia in Paris

Virgin Australia pulled out a mammoth 20 hour flight from Paris to Brisbane. The airline does not have any scheduled service to the French capital. This flight was operated on behalf of the French government, repatriating French citizens from New Zealand.

Virgin Australia operated a non-stop flight from Paris to Brisbane
Virgin Australia operated this flight on behalf of the French government to repatriate French citiznes from New Zealand. Photo: Virgin Australia

For the past few weeks several airlines have been flying to New Zealand to repatriate their citizens from the country. Lufthansa has flown its A380 and B777, Austrian and Swiss have also operated flights here. A total of 15 Lufthansa Group flights were operated to the country. In addition to this Air New Zealand also operated charter flights to Germany.


Flight Details

Virgin Australia was operating on behalf of the French government to repatriate their citizens. The airline operated a B777-300ER registered as VH-VPD named ‘Avalon Beach’. The aircraft left Brisbane as VA9940 in the morning and arrived in Auckland just after noon.

Virgin Australia B777-300ER
Virgin Australia used its B777-300ER to complete the flight. Photo: Virgin Australia

After picking up the stranded passengers the airline then operated its flight as VA9015 from Auckland to Hong Kong. The aircraft departed Auckland at 13:30 local time on the same day and arrived at Hong Kong at 20:16 local time. It would spend 100 minutes on the ground for refuelling and depart to Paris for a 07:30 early morning arrival the next day.

The return flight was operated as VA9941. Virgin Australia departed Paris at 09:52 local time with only crew on board and arrived at Brisbane the next day at 13:37 local time completing 19:45 hours in its history making flight.

How was it able to fly for 20 hours non-stop ?

The great circle distance between the French capital and Brisbane is 16,532km. The actual range of the B777-00ER is 13,649. The airline was able to fly 20 hours and cover the distance with a help of accurate flight planning and external factors.

Virgin Australia route map
Virgin Australia flew from Brisbane outbound to Paris via Auckland,Hong Kong and the inbound flight from Paris was operated non-stop. Photo: Virgin Australia

According to the B777-300ER aircraft left Paris with 144 tons of fuel and landed at Brisbane with 6 tons left. The flight also operated with no passenger similar to how Austrian Airlines operated from Vienna to Sydney that added to the advantage of flying this distance.

They were also aided by external factors such as wind which was favourable through the flight. The flight crew had to precisely plan the flight path as they would be flying through airspaces that they haven’t flown before.

Recently Air Tahiti Nui made the record for the longest domestic flight by flying from Papeete to Paris covering a distance of 15,715km at a time of 16:30 hours. Though Virgin Atlantic flight is longer and covers more distance these would be taken in for the record books as the return flight was not a commercial flight rather a ferry flight.


Repatriation and scheduled flight

Virgin Australia is operating repatriation flights to Hong Kong and Los Angeles from Brisbane. In addition to this the airline has said it will reinstate some of the domestic flights for a period of 8 weeks until June 7th 2020. The airline said it will operate 64 return flight across Australia starting this April 17th.


Similar to other airlines, Virgin Australia has operated its longest flight till date. As part of its repatriation efforts the airline has flown a whopping 20 hours non-stop after transporting stranded citizens back to France. Airlines flying their aircraft across the span of the globe testing the limit of their aircraft.

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