- A British Airways flight from New York to London on Saturday beat the record for the fastest subsonic transatlantic flight.
- Flight 112 took just four hours, 56 minutes, landing about two hours earlier than expected at London Heathrow Airport, according to FlightRadar24.
- The Boeing 747 plane’s speedy journey was completed thanks to 200-mph winds in the “supercharged” jet stream, CNN reported.
- The strong winds came as Storm Ciara battered the UK and Ireland. A man died in Southern England on Monday after the wind toppled a tree, which fell on his car, the BBC reported.
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A British Airways flight on Saturday smashed the record for the fastest subsonic transatlantic passenger flight after a storm battering the UK hugely accelerated wind speeds in the jet stream.
Flight 112 took just four hours, 56 minutes to make its journey from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Saturday.
It arrived at 4:43 a.m. UK time, almost two hours earlier than expected, according to the flight-tracking site FlightRadar24. The average time for this journey is normally six hours and 30 minutes.
The accelerated journey also decreased the amount of fuel consumption, FlightRadar24 said.
"The flight took advantage of a well-placed and strong jet stream to reach London in under 5 hours," FlightRadar24 said.
The jet stream is a core of strong winds, measuring between 5 to 7 miles, that blow from west to east - so, from North America to Europe - across the North Atlantic Ocean. It's located in the tropopause, above the Earth's surface.
Winds in the jet stream reached 200 mph at the time of the flight, the CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
You can see the jet stream around the time of Saturday's record flight illustrated here:
The exceptionally strong winds on Saturday came at about the time Storm Ciara arrived in the UK and Ireland, bringing severe winds and widespread flooding to the country over the weekend.
A 58-year-old man died Monday after a tree fell on his car while he was driving in Southern England, the BBC reported.
The jet stream that turbocharged the British Airways flight also helped power Storm Ciara's winds toward the UK and Ireland, CNN reported.
British Airways beat a Virgin Atlantic plane, which was traveling on the same night, by exactly one minute, FlightRadar24 reported. That airline's Flight 4 took four hours, 57 minutes.
If we're not mistaken, BA now retakes the fastest subsonic NY-London crossing from Norwegian. pic.twitter.com/Sr1GPeAjuh
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 9, 2020
The subsonic record for the same New York-to-London route - which excludes flights from the supersonic Concorde - was held by a Boeing 787 plane flown by Norwegian Airlines, which took five hours, 13 minutes in January 2018.
Referring to its Saturday flight, a British Airways spokesman told Business Insider: "We always prioritize 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."
Storm Ciara was responsible for major travel disruptions across over the weekend, with 25,000 passengers affected by flight cancellations from Heathrow Airport alone, according to The Independent.