'Time-travelling' flight takes off in 2018, lands in 2017

HONOLULU • A Hawaiian Airlines flight took off in 2018 and landed in 2017 as a result of time zone differences.

A reporter for the Los Angeles-based ABC 7 News, Mr Sam Sweeney, tweeted on New Year's Eve that flight HA446, meant to depart Auckland, New Zealand, at 11.55pm local time, had been delayed by 10 minutes.

This meant it left New Zealand at 12.05am on Jan 1, 2018, but landed in Honolulu, Hawaii, at 10.15am on Dec 31, 2017.

Auckland is 23 hours ahead of Honolulu, as Honolulu goes by GMT-10 time, while Auckland goes by GMT+13, which explains the "time travelling".

The fun fact drew flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 to tweet: "Time travel is possible!"

It followed up with another tweet showing six aircraft - three each from China Airlines and Eva Air - taking off from Taipei in 2018 "to bring their passengers back to year 2017 in North America".

Mr Sweeney's tweet has gone viral, with more than 9,000 retweets and 19,000 likes.

Many responded with gifs from 1985 science fiction film Back To The Future, or memes to express bewilderment.

Celebrations to ring in the new year have rippled across the globe, from New Zealand, Australia and Singapore to the United States.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2018, with the headline ''Time-travelling' flight takes off in 2018, lands in 2017'. Print Edition | Subscribe