MIAMI – Montreal-based low-cost carrier Air Transat (TS) set a record for the longest flight recorded by an A321 yesterday when it landed in Athens.
The next-generation A321, the A321LR flew from Montreal (YUL) to Athens (ATH), with its extended range capability making the flight possible. The red-eye took off from YUL Saturday at 17:15 local and landed at Athens Sunday morning at 7:45 local, for a total flight time of 8 hours and 40 minutes according to Flightradar24.
Originally supposed to resume in July, the resumption of the route was continuously postponed as COVID-19 raged on. The great circle distance between the two cities is 7,600km made it the longest A321 flight in history.
Air Transat only got its first A321LR in May and was quick to take advantage of their extended range, and a bonus for Air Transat is that the reduction in capacity will make the A321LR more useful for long-haul routes while demand is low.
The flight, TS690, starts in Toronto, with a quick 44 minute hop up to Montreal for a 1 hr 45 min turn before the flight continues on to Athens. On the way back, TS691 makes a scheduled stop in Paris (CDG) for fuel before making the journey back across the Atlantic to Montreal and finally ends up where it all began in Toronto.
The specific aircraft to set this world record, C-GOIO, is a brand new A321LR only just delivered in July from Hamburg (XFW) making its first flight for Air Transat in August.
The airline’s A321LRs are fitted with 12 “Club Class” seats in a 2-2 configuration and 187 economy seats in a 3-3 configuration, for a somewhat cramped environment for a transoceanic journey, let alone an 8 hour 40-minute flight across Europe as well.
Airbus put out a tweet congratulating Air Transat for the feat, boasting the performance and capabilities of one of their newest aircraft. The manufacturer continues to redefine the capabilities of single-aisle aircraft as they become more and more efficient.
Featured image: Air Transat