SWISS is currently operating its longest flight to date. The airline is flying a Boeing 777 from its Zurich hub to Santiago. The purpose of the mammoth journey is to repatriate stranded Swiss travelers on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland.
The current crisis gripping the world has seen a number of interesting flights operated. For example, Qantas flew an Airbus A380 non-stop from Australia to the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, El Al operated its first non-stop flight to Australia, and Wamos operated a non-stop flight from Hawaii to Frankfurt. Now SWISS is operating its first flight to Santiago.
SWISS’ special flight is currently operating to Santiago in order to repatriate stranded Swiss travelers. The aircraft departed from Zurich at 07:37 this morning. This was 37-minutes later than the planned departure time.
According to the airline, the flight will be the longest ever carried out by a SWISS aircraft non-stop. The flight is being operated by HB-JNJ, a two-year-old Boeing 777 owned by the airline.
Today at 7:37h our longest ever non-stop flight LX8900 took off to Santiago de Chile on behalf of @EDA_DFAE in order to bring Swiss travelers back home. 🇨🇭 Big love goes out to our amazing crew on this special mission. ❤ pic.twitter.com/Fdms1KC2d4
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) March 27, 2020
At 14:00 UTC, the aircraft was 7-hours and 23-minutes into its mammoth journey somewhere above the Atlantic ocean. According to FlightRadar24.com, it is currently expected to land in 5-hours and 45-minutes. This will give a total flight time of around 13-hours and 10-minutes. This is three-quarters of an hour shorter than the planned flight time of 13-hours and 55-minutes.
SWISS is to operate its first flight to Santiago de Chile on 27 March, supporting the repatriation programme initiated by the @EDA_DFAE. Further repatriation flights on the @EDA_DFAE ‘s behalf are being planned, bringing home Swiss nationals and residents blocked abroad. 🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/u5TGof51Kt
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) March 26, 2020
Lufthansa Group affected
The Lufthansa Group has been hit hard by the ongoing situation. In fact, as a result, the airline had grounded around 90% of its aircraft. Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, both belonging to the Lufthansa Group, have suspended all flights, keeping a few aircraft operational for repatriations.
SWISS has so far avoided grounding all flights. However, it has significantly cut its flight offering as a result of travel bans and a huge decrease in flight demand. Yesterday Lufthansa announced that a new social distancing policy would apply to flights departing Germany alongside domestic flights, but not on inbound flights. However, SWISS will not be affected by this policy as it only affects Lufthansa and Eurowings.
What do you make of SWISS’ longest-ever flight? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.