Air India on Sunday entered the record books for operating the world’s longest non-stop flight, The Times of India reported. Air India’s maiden flight on the transpacific route took 14 hours and 30 minutes to cover 15,300 km from Delhi to San Francisco. An official said the flight took off at 4 am from Delhi on October 16, crossed the international dateline and landed at its destination at 6.30 am local time on October 16.

Video – Air India

The airline previously used the Atlantic route, almost 1,400 km shorter than the transpacific route, for the Delhi to San Francisco flight. Tailwinds, winds that blow in the same direction as the flight, increased the carrier’s speed on the transpacific route. The airline will use the Atlantic route on its New Delhi-bound return flight to benefit from the tailwind speeds in the other direction, making it a round-the-world flight. The flight’s commander, Captain Rajneesh Sharma, said the fuel-saving route will be used for the next six months at least.

The flight also marked the 84th anniversary of the airline on October 15. On October 14, the carrier reported an operating profit of Rs 105 crore, nearly 10 years after merging with Indian Airlines. The state-owned carrier said a nearly 31% drop in fuel costs was the primary reason for the positive numbers.

According to the English daily, Air India will operate the world’s longest non-stop flight for two years, till Singapore Airlines launches the Singapore-New York flight which will cover 16,500 km in 19 hours.