North America to Asia in 5 Hours: Transpolar Flights in the 1990’s

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

In the 1990s, the first commercial transpolar flight between North America and Asia was made possible, shaving five hours off a regular route from New York to Hong Kong. This was made feasible by the employment of newer, more fuel-efficient planes, as well as new routes that took advantage of the rotation of the Earth. The new routes cut about 2,000 miles (3,200 km) off the original route, which travelled over the North Pole. The new routes also allowed for more direct flights between large cities, eliminating the need for intermediate stops. A United Airlines 747-400 performed the first transpolar trip on October 26, 1996, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport and landing at Hong Kong International Airport on October 27, 1996. The flight took 16 hours and 36 minutes, which was five hours less than the standard journey.
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