TAG Owner Planning Record Pole-to-Pole Flight in GEX

 - September 16, 2008, 11:27 AM

Aziz Ojjeh, vice president and one of the owners of Luxembourg-based TAG Group Holdings, is planning to set a new record for an around-the-world flight over the poles in the company’s Bombardier Global Express (HB-JEX). Planned for November so that airfields in Antarctica are available for emergency use, the flight will depart from and return to Farnborough Airport in England, and make five refueling stops. The current route takes the Global south to the Maldives; continues to Hobart, Tasmania; passes over the South Pole en route to Punta Arenas, Chile (the longest leg at about 10 hours 45 minutes); heads north to Barbados; and makes the final fueling stop at Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, Canada, before heading over the North Pole. On board will be five pilots (including Ojjeh), one aircraft engineer, an FAI observer and one other passenger. A Boeing 747SP set the current record of 423 knots average speed, including three refueling stops, in 1977. Ojjeh told AIN he hopes to beat the record with an average speed of as much as 450 knots.