I’m not sure what’s more fascinating here — the route that was operated yesterday, or the plane as such…
Boeing 787 flies nonstop from Seoul to Buenos Aires
Yesterday a Boeing 787-8 with the registration code P4-787 operated a nonstop flight from Seoul Incheon (ICN) to Buenos Aires (EZE). This 12,106 mile flight was operated in a flight time of 20hr19min, which certainly makes this one of the longest 787 flights ever.
The route that Comlux operated nonstop from Seoul to Buenos Aires
Shortly after landing in Buenos Aires, the plane refueled and operated the 40 minute flight to Punta del Este (PDP), so I guess it’s safe to say the plane was really pushing its range.
It goes without saying that this is well beyond the typical published range of the aircraft, but presumably the plane was more or less empty, so it could operate much further than under typical conditions.
The basics of P4-787, the plane in question
The plane that operated this route has the registration code P4-787, and it’s a seven year old Boeing 787 that initially entered service in May 2013. The plane used to fly for Aeromexico, but was put in storage in January 2021, and was taken over by Comlux as of February 2021.
You’ve gotta love the budget-friendly way that this plane has been repainted for now. Comlux has basically maintained Aeromexico’s livery except the name, and I have to say, it looks surprisingly good.
Comlux Boeing 787-8
Comlux operates a fleet of VIP aircraft, both for private and charter use. The company is behind several of the most fascinating VIP aircraft out there, like the Crystal Skye Boeing 777-200LR.
That brings me to my first question — does anyone know how this particular 787 is configured as of now? The plane only joined Comlux’s fleet last month:
- On the one hand, I’d assume that maybe the plane hasn’t been converted into a VIP configuration yet, given how much time that can take
- On the other hand, the plane has been flying around nonstop for the past few weeks, so could it really be in the same configuration that it used to have with Aeromexico, since I can’t imagine that would be very popular with 787 charter customers?
Aeromexico Boeing 787-8 business class
Check out the routes this plane has flown!
I was looking at the flights that this particular plane has operated in the past couple of weeks, and wow, I’m speechless:
- On March 11 the plane flew from Punta del Este to Buenos Aires (36min)
- On March 13 the plane flew from Buenos Aires to Muscat (15hr26min)
- On March 14 the plane flew from Muscat to Seoul (7hr37min)
- On March 17 the plane flew from Seoul to Osaka (1hr17min)
- On March 18 the plane flew from Osaka to Guam (2hr54min)
- On March 18 the plane flew from Guam to Auckland (7hr37min)
- On March 19 the plane flew from Auckland to Tahiti (4hr48min)
- On March 19 the plane flew from Tahiti to Copenhagen (16hr37min)
- On March 21 the plane flew from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg (1hr32min)
- On March 22 the plane flew from St. Petersburg to Zurich (2hr30min)
- On March 22 the plane flew from Zurich to London (1hr12min)
- On March 22 the plane flew from London to Cairo (4hr2min)
- On March 23 the plane flew from Cairo to Male (6hr5min)
- On March 23 the plane flew from Male to Gan Island (54min)
- On March 24 the plane flew to & from Gan Island two separate times (22min each)
- On March 26 the plane flew from Gan Island to Male (50min)
- On March 26 the plane flew from Male to Seoul (8hr1min)
- From there the plane flew from Seoul to Buenos Aires to Punta del Este, as covered above
Below is a picture of what that looks like on a map.
The routes for Comlux’s Boeing 787-8 in the past couple of weeks
Does anyone actually know what’s going on here? Is there a single charter customer, was this all separate charters, is there a cargo motive, or what? Usually I’m pretty good at reading between the lines when it comes to flight tracking, but I’m lost here:
- This almost seems like an “air cruise” of sorts, except the lack of time between flights makes that unlikely
- Perhaps there was some charter between Seoul and the Maldives, but what was the point of the two ~20 minute flights at Gan Island that just took off and landed?
- The rest of the route I simply can’t make sense of, like the Guam flight, Tahiti to Copenhagen, etc.
- Was this perhaps all some sort of a crew training exercise? If so, that seems awfully costly, and like quite an unusual routing
I’m sure there’s a totally reasonable explanation, so if anyone has any insights, I’d sure love to hear them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single aircraft operate such varied routes over the course of a couple of weeks.
For that matter, could you imagine how fascinating it would be to be crew for this plane? It makes me wonder whether a single crew has been operating all of these flights, or if crews have been rotated in & out.
A former Aeromexico Boeing 787 that now flies for Comlux just operated a 20+ hour, 12,000+ mile nonstop flight from Seoul to Buenos Aires. That might be the least interesting part of this story, though.
In the past two weeks the plane has been everywhere from Muscat to Guam to Auckland to Tahiti to Copenhagen to the Maldives, and I actually have no clue what’s going on.
Can anyone shed some light on what exactly this intriguing Boeing 787 is up to? And does anyone else find this to be as interesting as I do?