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Boeing 777 twin-engined wide-body jet has received Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for extended operations (ETOPS) flights up
to 330 minutes away from the nearest available airport.
The authorization can be useful to airlines flying across
remote regions of the south Pacific, over the North Pole, and from
routes, reducing both fuel burn and travel time.
Previously, the furthest the jet was allowed to go from the
nearest airport was 207 minutes. The ETOPS extension is introduced in two
stages: Airlines must first operate the planes safely for a year at up to 240
minutes away from the nearest airport before they can move up to 330 minutes.
Earlier this month, Air New Zealand became the first airline
to fly a 240-minute ETOPS flight, from
The 330-minute ETOPS certification follows test flights to
establish the reliability of the airplane, which can safely operate with just
one engine for that extended period.
Any airline wishing to fly such flights requires its own FAA
approval, showing that its training and processes are appropriate and that it
has installed additional fire suppression equipment.