MIAMI – Korean Airlines (KE) performs its longest flight ever registered since its establishment in 1969, carrying 25 tons of COVID-related goods bound for the Dominican Republic.

The flight was performed with a Boeing 777-300ER, which is normally used to carry passengers but is modified to carry cargo both in holds and cabin. The KE8047 service, linking Seoul-Incheon (ICN) to Miami International (MIA), normally operates via Anchorage (ANC) where a crew change is scheduled.

For the occasion, the Boeing 777-300 – registered HL8218 – departed INC on June 12 at 21:28 local time and arrived at MIA at 22:44 local time on June 13. In total, it was a 13,405 km flight that flew for 14 h and 42 min. The previous longest recorded flight was the INC to Atlanta (ATL) service that took 13 h 50 min and covered a distance of 12,547 km (6,775 nm).

Korean Air Airbus 330-200 HL8228 – Photo : Alberto Cucini/Airways

Converted Passenger Aircraft

Korean Airlines employs its stored aircraft to perform cargo flights since last year and has so far converted a total of 16 aircraft, 10 are Boeing 777 and six Airbus 330 with passenger seats removed, and two of the 777 types have been equipped with Cargo Seat bags (CSB) installed on seats.

The airline has already performed 8,300 cargo fights using modified passenger aircraft.

Featured image: Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER HL8208. Photo: Sean Brink/Airways