On a mission to fetch 347 Filipinos seafarers of the Royal Carribean Cruise Line, Philippine Airlines flew a direct flight from Manila to Miami yesterday. Making use of a Boeing 777 (RP-C7772) aircraft, the milestone flight was 16 hours and nine minutes long, traversing 9,316 miles.
That flight, PR5112, left Manila just after midnight (12:14 A.M.) and landed at around 4 P.M. Miami time. It is one of the longest direct flights ever to land in Miami, an achievement partially made possible by its relatively light load going in to the US.
PR5112 was headed by Capt. Rommel Quizon, First Officer Joseph Marvin Jumaquio, Second Officer Jose Miguel Cajucom, and Second Officer Elijah Len Alcantara. The same team will, of course, will lead the flight back home. After picking up the seafarers, the aircraft will make a technical stop in Los Angeles before taking off for Manila. They are expected to arrive back in the country tomorrow.
While this is a special circumstance serving a specific need to bring the Pinoy seafarers home, some experts say that we may see more of these ultra-long haul flights. “The lightweight tech and new fuel-efficient engines mean we will likely see increasing numbers of flights pushing the boundaries of possibility,” writes Emily Derrick in a piece for aviation news website Simple Flying.