Unusual jetstream helps British Airways’ Boeing 747 break Atlantic crossing record

Storm Ciara made several flights between New York and London arrive early at their destination

The Storm Ciara that hit the UK over the weekend with winds of up to 90 km/h also helped some passengers to get home earlier. According to data from FlightRadar 24, a British Airways Boeing 747-400 broke the subsonic Atlantic crossing record between New York (JFK) and London (Heathrow).

The BA 211 flight from Saturday 8 February, which should have taken about 6 hours and 15 minutes to reach the British capital, completed its journey in just 4 hours and 56 minutes. Until then, the record on that route was a Norwegian Air Boeing 787-9 that in January 2018 took 5 hours and 13 minutes between Gatwick and JFK airports.

It was not just the BA flight that benefited from the “push” of the tail winds. An A350-1000 from Virgin Atlantic that took the same route was just a minute longer than the rival’s 747.

Registration of flight BA 211 by Flight Radar 24

Record holder

Even with the help of the weather, none of these subsonic flights came close to the mark established by Concorde, which flew between London and New York until November 2003 when the aircraft was retired.

The elegant supersonic jet broke the crossing record exactly 24 years ago when it completed the New York-London route on February 7, 1996 in just 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds. Or more than 40% faster than Jumbo from the same British Airways.

A British Airways Concorde holds the record for crossing the Atlantic with 2 hours and 53 minutes (BA)
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