April 30, 2020

Notable Pandemic-Related Flights


In these unusual times, air transportation has generated substantial interest, notably the disastrous effect the pandemic has had on passenger airlines, large and small, and their many now-unemployed personnel. However, cargo flights are still proving to be not only essential, but especially noteworthy in some cases.

As of this writing, the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, was en route from Tianjin, China (ZBTJ) to Montreal/Mirabel airport (CYMX) via Anchorage, Alaska (PANC). Inside its cavernous fuselage is Personal Protective Equipment purchased by the Government of Quebec.

The AN-225, which first flew in 1985, was initially designed to carry the Soviet version of a space shuttle, called the Buran, on its back similar to how NASA used to carry its shuttles on the back of a specially modified Boeing 747. It holds the world record payload of 253,820 kg (559,580 lb).

Another notable flight this week is the record-setting flight by one of Air Canada’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which flew non-stop between Sydney, Australia (YSSY) and Toronto/Pearson airport (CYYZ) on Monday, April 27. The flight, which is not part of Air Canada’s regular schedule, flew the 8,537 nm distance in 16 hr 19 min. The carrier then bested its record by flying the same route on Wednesday, April 29, logging the 8,560 nm distance in 16 hr 08 min.

Top photo credit: Wikimedia Commons-Larske; bottom photo credit: Air Canada