On Monday, Norwegian Air, helped along by a strong jet stream conveniently located right along its route from New York-JFK to London-Gatwick, broke the record for fastest transatlantic flight in a subsonic plane (that is, not a sound-barrier-breaking Concorde ).
Clocking in at just five hours and thirteen minutes from takeoff to touchdown, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner reached a top speed of 776 miles per hour, getting an extra boost from winds that topped 200 miles an hour.
Jet streams , air currents that form at high altitudes, are often a pilot's and an airline's best friend: By slipping into the currents that, even on bad days, can blow at 80 to 100 miles per hour, flight time is cut and fuel (and therefore money) is saved.
Jet stream patterns are why it's faster to fly east than west, and in the winter the effect is magnified.
Monday's jet stream was just particularly quick.