Seventeen hours and 40 minutes – that's the length, according to estimates, flown by American Jewish billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson after his departure from Israel on Monday in his private plane to Honolulu, Hawaii. The lengthy journey coincidentally set a record for the longest flight to ever depart from Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.
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Adelson's Airbus A345 (registration VP-BMS) allows for very long flight times, especially when it's empty of passengers and cargo. With a total range of 15,000 kilometers, the Airbus model is meant to carry as many as 380 passengers and serves the longest commercial route in the world – from Singapore to Newark.
According to various reports, Adelson's plane is personalized to his needs and includes bedrooms with double beds as well as a bottom floor with large bathrooms and showers at passengers' disposal. All the seats that are installed in the plane are on the first-class level, with advanced features.
The Airbus didn't even stop to refuel during the marathon flight, which started by crossing over Europe to the Arctic Ocean, continuing to the North Pole, and then diving south over Alaska in the direction of Honolulu.
Such a long flight requires the presence of multiple air crews on the plane, meaning that besides Adelson and his enterouge, as least three pilots must have been on board. It's unkown if Adelson's wife accompanied her husband on the record-setting flight, but sources say the two commonly arrive at joint destinations on separate flights, seemingly due to differing schedules. Miriam Adelson owns a Boeing 767-300.
Commercial routes that reach such long flight times include an Qantas' flight from Sydney, Australia, to Dallas (nearly 17 hours), and Saudia's 16-hour-and-40-minute journey from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Los Angeles.
When on the ground, Adelson gets around in a motorized chair. The billionaire owns the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, and his main business interests are in his hotel and real estate company Las Vegas Sands. Adelson is considered to have a close relationship to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.