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Short Distance - Long Flight

crosscheck9 Guest

I have a question, to which I can't find an answer. From Bahrain Intl to King Fahd Intl, it's only about 46nm, or sumthin around that. What I don't understand, is why the flight takes 35 minutes. I went to www.saudiairlines.com then I went on as if booking the flight. The flight info said it takes 35 minutes, operated in an a320? Why is this?

crosscheck9 Guest

Sorry for the spelling errors above. I'm too used to typing on msn. I mean "something" instead of "sumthin" Wink

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

What's the cruising altitude? I'd guess maybe around FL150? Even such a low cruising level requires probably around 10-15 mins of climbing. Add to that taxiing, the descent and approach... then taxiing to the new gate. So let's say:

5 mins taxi
10 mins climb to cruise (which is a crazy climb let me tell you)
8 mins to cover the 46 nm (TAS probably around 400 kts)
5 mins to descend (again... yeesh!)
5 mins for the landing procedures
5 mins to taxi

38 minutes and I gave insanely short times. There might be a longer SID and or STAR, so 46 nm in a straight line might be 60-70 nm with the procedures. Count the time to climb (and to descend)... I think 35 is pretty quick.

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Plus, just because it's in an A320 doesn't mean it will be flying faster. Keep in mind that under 10k feet, ALL planes are heading lower than 250kts.

You'll find that many airlines actually build delays into their flight time! It seems like cheating, but you get a lot more satisfied customers that way than if you promise them the actual point to point flight time, but get stuck in holds, delayed on taxi / departure time, etc that are standard on some airports.

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