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Transatlantic Routings

Mon May 20, 2002 1:28 am

I have noticed that Air France's transatlantic routings tend to run a lot further north than most other airlines. I'll use the CDG-IAH route as an example. Continental flies west over to Newfoundland then southwest to IAH. Air France, however, flies northeast from Paris, over Iceland, over Greenland, then continuing east to the brim of the Hudson Bay, then almost due-South through Chicago to IAH. Why do they fly so far north?
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RE: Transatlantic Routings

Mon May 20, 2002 1:30 am

Maybe it shortens the flight time, although i'm not sure.

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RE: Transatlantic Routings

Mon May 20, 2002 1:50 am

Airlines dont use ONE route over the atlantic, the NAT Tracks change every day and are set according to the weather and wind conditions for the day, if the winds favour a southerly route then they go south, if they favour a northerly route they go north. I think going north is a shorter flight then going over new foundland but Im not sure, Take a string and a globe, put one end of it on CDG and tighten the other end to IAH and see if it is shorter.
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RE: Transatlantic Routings

Mon May 20, 2002 5:15 pm

The great-circle route (geographically the shortest) which can be illustrated using a piece of string between two points isn't necessarily the quickest. As someone mentioned above, the wind currents make all the difference and aircraft will fly substantial offsets to the great-circle routes in order to gain faster flight times by using the tailwinds (or at least reduced headwinds).