Finnair today operated an Airbus A350 flight of just 100km. The short hop saw the widebody aircraft visit Tallinn for the first time as the airline looked to move ‘a belly full of cargo’.
Airlines around the world have been operating some interesting routes recently. This has all been in aid of keeping passengers and freight moving while many usual flights have stopped. Examples have seen Lufthansa in New Zealand, and Air New Zealand in Germany. Finnair has even had its fair share. However, today the Finnish national airline operated a very short hop for a widebody aircraft.
Shortest Finnair A350 flight?
Today’s hop to Tallin may have been the airline’s shortest A350 hop in history, carrying passengers or freight. (If you know of a shorter hop with such a purpose, please do let us know in the comments!) The flight was so short that it only lasted 20 minutes, with the taxi either end taking almost as long as the flight. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
After pushback, the flight from Helsinki to Tallinn began to taxi towards the runway at 12:14 UTC. At 12:22 , the aircraft began its takeoff roll. The Airbus A350 then began to climb to a height of 13,000 feet according to data from FlightRadar24.com. It reached this height at 12:27.
The aircraft didn’t stay at its cruising altitude for long, however. In fact, just two minutes later, and less than halfway to Tallinn, it began its descent at 12:29. After a further 13 minutes in the air, it touched down in Tallin at 12:42, before taxiing for another five minutes. In total the aircraft spent 20 minutes flying and 13 minutes taxiing.
While it’s not clear what exactly the aircraft was carrying, Finnair did mention that the flight was being operated for cargo reasons. The airline also remarked that this flight was the first time one of its A350 aircraft had flown to Tallinn.
Finnair A350 is flying to Estonia this afternoon with a belly full of cargo! Flight AY8851 is landing in Tallinn at 15:50 local time. This is the first time that a Finnair A350 lands at Tallinn airport. #A350 #avgeek pic.twitter.com/NKpoM6J09Z
— Finnair (@Finnair) April 7, 2020
Not the only interesting flight
Finnair’s flight today is not the only interesting cargo flight made by a passenger aircraft. In fact, as many passenger aircraft are going unused at the moment, they are instead being used for cargo. airBaltic used an Airbus A220 for a seven-hour cargo flight from China. Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic flew cargo from Shanghai with a Boeing 787, while Lufthansa used an Airbus A330.
Which interesting cargo flights have you seen operating recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!