British Airways Boeing 747 Breaks Transatlantic Speed Record

Photo: Eliyahu Yosef Parypa /

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Every cloud has a silver lining, even in the storm. This is the case of British Airways Boeing 747-400, which on the New York-London route entered the area of ferocious Storm Ciara but thanks to the powerful transatlantic jetstream set a new subsonic speed record.

Accelerated by Storm Ciara on 9 February, 2020, the jumbo jet reached speeds of 825 mph (1,327 km/h). Correspondingly, the flight from New York John F Kennedy airport to London Heathrow took only 4 hours 56 minutes, provides Flightradar 24.


The flight arrived 80 minutes ahead of the schedule. Meanwhile, the average flight time on this route is 6 hours 13 minutes, the flight-tracking platform estimates.

“We always prioritise safety over speed records, but our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time”, a spokesperson for British Airways said. 

The record of 5 hours 13 minutes which preceded the latest British Airways flight belonged to a Norwegian Boeing 787-9 in January 2018 (New York John F Kennedy airport to London Gatwick).

Therefore, the fastest transatlantic flight between New York and London in history took 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds, hitting a top speed of 1,350 mph (2,172.6 km/h). It was also operated by British Airways although flown by Concorde, supersonic passenger airliner, on 7 February, 1996.