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Old 16 Sep 18, 04:21 PM  
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jessandjon2005
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Join Date: Jun 11
Flight paths question

Hi everybody, hope you are well.

Just curious, but does anyone know the reason why some flights out of London Heathrow/Gatwick go to Orlando straight over Cornwall and out over the Atlantic directly, wheras some go up over Scotland and Iceland?

Its something that's always baffled me and intrigued what the real answer is and why?

Is it anything to do with land/safety, because one going one way and another plane going another wouldn't make that statement factual, so does anyone have the answer please?

Just find it VERY interesting, as gone both ways on numerous occasions and wandered why, as surely the Iceland route is longer and more costly to the airline so why would some go this way and other airlines do not?
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Old 16 Sep 18, 06:58 PM  
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Dr.JumbaJookiba
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Join Date: Mar 07
It depends on lots of factors - sometimes the shortest route on the map is not the most efficient for fuel etc due to headwinds on the different routes. Sometimes ATC will direct a flight one way or the other depending on the expected number of planes in the air at that time to give safe separation. Twin engine planes can also be restricted by ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) or in the old cabin crew joke Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim , a rule which permits twin engine aircraft to fly routes which, at some point, are more than 60/120/180 minutes flying time away from the nearest airport suitable for emergency landing. No reason to be concerned if your flight goes one way or the other.
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