Passenger plane flies for 16 hours without stopping in ‘longest domestic flight’

A plane flew for nearly 16 hours after President Donald Trump announced a ban in US airspace due to the coronavirus outbreak, forcing it to complete the "longest domestic flight in the world".

The Boeing 787-9 had left Papeete, on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, on March 15 at 3.10am to stop in Los Angeles, California, before flying to Paris, France.

However, Trump's announcement for the suspension of all travel from Europe to the United States meant the airplane had to fly directly to France, instead of through US.

The Air Tahiti Nui flight covered some 15,715 kilometres (9,764 miles).

After 15 hours and 45 minutes in the air, the plane landed in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 5.54am according to Flight Radar which claimed on social media the trip was “the longest domestic flight in the world”.

Air Tahiti Nui has now announced that several of its flights travelling between mainland France and French Polynesia will stop in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

It is reported that the Boeing 787-9 was able to complete the long flight as it was not fully loaded with passengers or cargo.

In October 2019, a Qantas Airlines Boeing 787 flew non-stop from New York to Sydney in 19 hours and 16 minutes as part of an experimental flight during which four pilots took turns operating the aircraft.

President Donald Trump's travel ban includes Europe and the UK which was previously exempt.

Across the US, public events have been cancelled, universities cancelled classes, and many public schools were shut.

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