Norwegian Boeing 787-9 set record after landing almost an hour earlier than expected

  • A Norwegian transatlantic flight landed almost an hour ahead of schedule 
  • The 2018 flight from New York to London took just five hours and 13 minutes
  • The plane hit top speeds of 776mph during the flight

Published on Jul 03, 2024 at 3:01 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jul 03, 2024 at 11:42 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight from New York JFK to London Gatwick cut almost an hour off its flight time – with the journey taking just five hours and 13 minutes. 

The low-cost airline had 284 passengers aboard its transatlantic flight back in January 2018, when it set off from the U.S. at around 11.44am local time. 

After spending a little under five-and-a-quarter hours in the air, it landed in the U.K. at 9.57pm local time – shaving 53 of its scheduled flight time. 

READ MORE! American Airlines Boeing 777 cut nearly an hour off trip after hitting ‘speed of sound’

The Norwegian flight set a new record

The journey set a new record for the fastest subsonic transatlantic flight. 

However, that has since been smashed by a British Airways flight in 2020 that took just four hours and 56 minutes and trimmed around an hour and 20 minutes off the average flight time. 

The Norwegian flight hit top speeds of 776mph during the 3,500-mile flight and was boosted by tailwinds of up to 202mph.

Commenting back in 2018, Norwegian captain, Harold van Dam said: “The 787 Dreamliner is a pleasure to fly and it’s a great feeling to know that we have set a new record in this aircraft.

“We were actually in the air for just over five hours and if it had not been for forecasted turbulence at lower altitude, we could have flown even faster.”

The weather played its part in decreasing flight times 

One day prior, a Norwegian flight on the same route arrived 25 minutes ahead of schedule spending five hours and 20 minutes in the air. 

Similarly, the flight had a maximum tailwind of 224mph and reached a top speed of 779mph.

Just one Captain Pascal Niewold at Norwegian said: “The passengers and crew were very pleasantly surprised that we were already landing in London.

“It was a very smooth flight with almost no turbulence and as a result of the jet stream we arrived 25 minutes early.”

While both the Norwegian and BA flights have impressive times – neither can quite compare to the fastest transatlantic passenger flight ever. 

That record was set by Concorde in 1996 – flying from New York to London in two hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds. It had an average speed of 1,250 mph.

# Tags - Airplanes, Travel


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.