House

Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan most-tracked flight in Flightradar24 history

In this photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, speaks with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave in Taipei.
Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Associated Press
In this photo released by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, speaks with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave in Taipei.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) flight to Taiwan on Tuesday was the most-tracked flight in global flight tracking service Flightradar24’s history.

More than 708,000 people were watching the Boeing C-40C aircraft when it landed in Taipei, according to Flightradar24, securing its spot as the most-tracked live flight in the website’s history. The service started in 2006.

Over the course of the flight, a total of 2.92 million people tracked the aircraft at some point, according to Flightaware24. The U.S. Air Force plane, which took off from Kuala Lumpur and landed in Taipei, flew for roughly seven hours.

Pelosi touched down in Taipei on Tuesday after days of speculation regarding whether the Speaker would travel to the self-governing island amid tensions with China. 

The Speaker’s office never confirmed the visit prior to landing, but it was reported by a number of news organizations hours before she arrived.

Pelosi, traveling with a congressional delegation, wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post shortly after her arrival that the trip to Taiwan “should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”

“We cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself,” she added.

The visit made Pelosi, the third-highest ranking official in the U.S. government, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan since 1997. That year, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) traveled to the island. Pelosi touched down in Taiwan in 1999, but she was not in leadership at the time.

Pentagon officials had cautioned against Pelosi traveling to Taiwan out of concern that the visit could spark a retaliatory response from China, but she went anyway. The Speaker has a history of confronting leaders in Beijing, especially when it comes to matters relating to human rights.

Flightaware24 tracked more than 219,000 flights on Tuesday, according to its website.

Tags Flightradar24 Nancy Pelosi Taiwan
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