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127

Large parts of France's airspace are designated military training areas. If there is military flight training going on, the choice of routing over France is very limited. The only option is to fly around these areas, which results in the routes you found. Higher altitude route map of France courtesy of EUROCONTROL[PDF, 8MB] Since the PDF seems to be ...


107

Those routes are extremely similar. They're basically two almost-a-straight-line routes over the arctic ocean, except that the second one has deviated a bit to the right, so that it's gone just on the right of the North Pole instead of passing by the left. At the pole itself, there's no such thing as "East" or "West", and if you pass very close to it, there ...


88

I took Hewgill's picture and added the routes in the OP (I just eyeballed this, so I won't guarantee accuracy). With the FlightAware maps it looks like drastically different routes, but from this angle you can see that both routes are not that far off the ideal route.


87

The direct route from YYZ to PEK flies almost over the north pole: Sometimes, routes need to deviate a bit from the "direct" route, due to prevailing winds or other traffic. If your route from YYZ needs to deviate a bit to the right, then it will cross over to the other side of the north pole (which is the very centre of the map above), and your projected ...


60

If an aircraft is following a magnetic course changes in magnetic declination as the aircraft moves along its route of flight will affect the true course, and on a long flight such as the hypothetical trip posed here we need to take that into account. Magnetic declination is empirical data, i.e. there are tables of it, and while formulas exist to ...


42

The reason this is done is due to the winds aloft. The Jet Stream is a powerful current of air that blows in a west to east direction. Airplanes crossing the Atlantic from west to east take advantage of the jet stream to get there faster and save fuel, so a course is chosen to stay in the stream as much as possible. Airplanes going from east to west will be ...


42

This answer assumes the manouevring was related to the Military training activities going on off-shore. While plausible, there is another plausible explanition in ymb1's answer. That was a British Airways Boeing 747 on its way from London to Miami. Just off the coast there is a military exercise going on (see the LJ35 doing circles in the screenshot from ...


41

Simply, because no airline has determined the route makes economic sense. A poll doesn't necessarily translate into a ready market of passengers. Sure, lots of people might check a box on a survey saying they'd like to see such a thing, but does that really translate to thousands of people actually a significant sum of money for the service? Would enough ...


39

To give an example of how flights can be affected by this in ways to make them impossible, Iranian airspace is closed from sunset to sunrise (unless things have changed recently). Any aircraft that due to the closure of Pakistani airspace would need to cross Iranian airspace and be unable to do so because of that closure now needs to be cancelled or ...


37

The flight did not fly across the Atlantic. Rather, you're seeing the results of stereographic projection. More specifically, the Earth is round. Navigation needs to be thought of on the basis of a sphere. It is 3-dimensional, and if you have studied sphere geometry, you will know that it defies the rules of geometry we know in 2D - for example it is ...


34

There could be a lot of reasons for this... EU closed airspace to 737's MAX 8's on March 12 They needed to go into a holding pattern until ATC figured out where to put them They needed to be in the holding pattern until they could get a landing slot They were redirected to an airport that had a maintenance facility that the airline uses They redirected to ...


29

I find it hard to believe that this was a holding pattern of some sort. Believe it. An hour before landing would be about the point at which the aircraft will start its descent to its destination. Almost certainly, air traffic control were delaying your flight for a few moments to ease insertion into the landing pattern at Chicago. Doing this at altitude ...


28

Looks like they were avoiding a storm system from Oregon north into Canada.


26

Hawaiian Airlines only recently started acquiring airplanes (A330-200) that are capable of that range. According to Wikipedia, London and Paris routes were discussed. On November 27, 2007, Hawaiian Airlines signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Airbus for 24 long-range jets priced at $4.4 billion. The order included six Airbus A330-200s with a ...


25

There are no issues overflying Israel to Jordan: From the Israeli AIP: Prior permission is not required for commercial scheduled flights by aircraft registered in countries that are parties to the International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA) or where the relevant Israeli bilateral Air Services Agreement allows overflying the State of ...


23

I don't think they are specifically avoiding Shanwick Oceanic airspace. The reason seems to be related to the airways in the Scottish airspace. In general, you have to file a route using airways when operating in this airspace and there simply isn't one available that provides a more direct route. I recreated what looks like the route you show on skyvector....


21

Based on your provided flight info, I looked up the track history on flightradar and did see some potential traffic conflict that might have tempted the controller to route your plane that way. The first turn to the South appears to be a conflict with AAL 91, who was coming in from the North, also descending. AAL 91 executed a 90 right turn, while UAL 1709 ...


20

I am not sure anybody but Turkish Airline's dispatcher can give the exact reason, but there is a couple of possible reasons that have nothing to do with politics or safety: The combination of prevailing winds and ATC fees make it cheaper to fly around in one direction. Either the fees are higher (it's late night) or the winds make the delay shorter. The ...


19

TL;DR You're confusing concepts, planes come in high/low capacity and range, routes come in high/low demand and long/short haul distances. A high capacity long range aircraft can operate very profitably on a short haul, high demand route... a full 747 would actually be more profitable on a 1000km route than a full 737, because although the 747 uses more fuel,...


19

The answers to your questions vary greatly depending on the individual airline, type of equipment, what kind of flying they do, as well as contractual and union (if any) work rules. The one thing that is generally the same and as noted in the previous answer and comment, is that scheduled lines of flying are published to the crews, and a bidding system based ...


18

(gcmap.com) Great circle route. The polar route is mostly over land and is in close proximity to airports and navigational aids. Flying over long stretches over water requires (among other things) enhanced navigation, using specific communication protocols, and adhering to criteria set by the countries overseeing the region. Picking the new Pacific route is ...


17

Not mentioned in the other answers is simply logistics coordination. If you can't fly over Pakistan, that suggests that maybe you have to fly somewhere else. Perhaps flying around means an overflight of China or Kyrgyzstan. Do they charge overflight fees? Do they require prior permits? Even if the money involved isn't huge, starting up a new route may ...


16

Wikipedia article about North Atlantic Tracks says it is to avoid jet stream winds (when flying west) or use it (when flying east): They are aligned in such a way as to minimize any head winds and maximize tail winds impact on the aircraft. This results in much more efficiency by reducing fuel burn and flight time. To make such efficiencies possible, the ...


16

I'd like to add to @DL's answer: Skipping further ahead in time, it wasn't a reroute out of a bottleneck, rather an introduced time delay. Either TBFM (Time Based Flow Management), or sector capacity constraints (though it also happened for northbound traffic). The FAA website confirms Miami (MIA) as one of the airports with TBFM deployed. The military ...


15

While DeltaLima's answer is very good, it is also due to Air Traffic Control limitations-- you want to spread out where the traffic is across the whole airspace, so routes may dogleg left or right at one point to try to keep traffic flow good (also helps separate aircraft going in opposite directions, but altitude does that too). Keep in mind that the ...


15

As @mins suggested, it seems to be a wrong longitude in the Shanwick OCA exit point. I assume it is a hemisphere error (they used East instead of West). If the longitude of the waypoint is mirrored with respect to the Greenwich meridian, the resulting path gives a more likely route to be flown:


14

There are two large warning areas there, W-465 A and B. Both are active "intermittently" up to 70,000ft. It seems likely that the route was taken to avoid those areas.


14

The first "circle" is a holding pattern. We discussed those here. In particular, it seems that you were on hold at VINIL or VEPLI, according to the approach charts (page 5 of the PDF). The second one is most likely for separation on final approach, the aircraft was probably early and ATC has asked them to perform a 360° to increase the separation between ...


14

A quick check of a site like Flightradar24 will show that the area is not overly avoided. The triangle between the southern tip of Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico has quite a bit of traffic. The southern part is a busy route from Florida to Puerto Rico and other areas in the Caribbean. The rest is also part of routes from the east coast to the Caribbean ...


14

The route was IdleWild (renamed JFK in 1963) or LaGuardia -> Gander, Canada -> Shannon, Ireland -> Paris. The trip took a total of about 18 hours going eastbound with tailwinds, and 24 hours going westbound with headwinds. Gander was opened in 1938 and continues to be the preferred refuelling stop for aircraft that can't make the hop across the north ...


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