Planespotters at Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) were surprised by news on July 5, 2023, that a Boeing 787-8 was inbound on a nonstop flight from Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia (PPT), setting a record for the airport.
The flight, a charter operated by Comlux Aruba, departed Faa’a International Airport on July 5, 2023, at 2am local time and touched down in the Catalan capital on July 6, at 8.07am local time, after 17 hours and 37 minutes in the air.
This almost 11,000-mile flight (approximately 16,000 kilometers) is the longest flight to ever land or take off from Barcelona airport and is in the same league as some of the world’s longest regular flights in terms of length.
Although operated by Comlux Aruba, the aircraft in question is P4-787, reportedly belongs to Argentinian filmmaker and pilot Enrique Piñeyro, who has made it available in the past for a variety of causes.
The aircraft is painted in an iconic livery in support of human rights and paying homage to Iranian protestors. Depicted on one side of the fuselage is Amir Nasr-Azadani, who was sentenced to a 26-year jail term by the Iranian regime, and on the other is Mahsa Amini, also from Iran, who died in police custody, prompting a wave of street protests across the Middle Eastern country.
This is also the same plane that, in 2021, set a record for the longest nonstop flight, covering the 10,520 nautical miles between Seoul and Buenos Aires in 20 hours and 19 minutes.
While it is not known who was onboard or the purpose of the trip to Barcelona, prior to visiting French Polynesia the aircraft had flown the Brazilian football (soccer) Women’s World Cup team to Brisbane, Australia, reported CNN.
After barely three hours in Barcelona, the Dreamliner departed again on another long flight, this time its destination is Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport (EZE), in Argentina, a hop of just 6,500 miles (10,500 kilometers).
AeroTime contacted Comlux for comment.