Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific is planning to re-route its flights operating between New York and Hong Kong, thereby making it the world’s longest passenger flight, The Guardian reported, citing Cathay’s statement to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Flying over the Atlantic rather than the Pacific region, the Cathay Pacific flight would cover more than 16,600km.

It plans to use a fleet of Airbus A350-1000s to complete the longer New York-Hong Kong route without any refuelling.

This new flight would cover the distance in 17 hours and 50 minutes, which is less than the time taken by Singapore Airlines.

The Singapore Airlines flight is said to take 18 hours to complete the journey, despite covering a shorter distance of 15,343km.

However, the flagship carrier did not disclose any reason for its re-route plan.

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“We are always running contingency routings for potential events or scenarios within the world of aviation,” the airline stated.

The move by Cathay Pacific would see flights travelling around Russian air space rather than passing through it.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many airline companies across the globe have halted services to Moscow or have been avoiding Russian airspace.

Earlier this month, Korean Air announced that it will temporarily suspend all its routes to Russia until April.

The airline termed the decision to cease operations of its passenger jets to Moscow and Vladivostok a safety measure.