Airline pilots pedal to Guinness World Record title

British Airways pilots James Van Der Hoorn and Thomas Reynolds cycled their way to a Guinness World Record Picture: British Airways
British Airways pilots James Van Der Hoorn and Thomas Reynolds cycled their way to a Guinness World Record Picture: British Airways

Two British Airways pilots have pedalled their way to a Guinness World Record title after successfully cycling across seven countries in just 24 hours.

The record-breaking pilots now hold the team title of ‘Most countries visited by bicycle in 24 hours’.

The flying First Officers fly from both Gatwick and Heathrow.

James Van Der Hoorn from Cambridge and Thomas Reynolds from Tring, in Hertfordshire, both 28 years old, managed to clock up more than 300 miles during the challenge.

They passed through Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland in their world record attempt.

They started their bid in Croatia at 12.18pm on October 1 and finished their journey in Poland at 11.18am the next day.

The pair fly to five of these countries in their roles as Airbus 320 short-haul pilots for British Airways which allowed them to train on some of the actual sections of the route leading up to the challenge.

The pilots are aiming to raise at least £5,000 for Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief which helps children living incredibly tough lives around the world.

British Airways First Officer Thomas Reynolds, who now lives in Brighton, said: “We’re really proud to get the record, but more importantly to raise the money for the Flying Start charity.

“It’s a great cause and if we’ve made even the slightest difference it will make all the effort totally worthwhile.”

British Airways First Officer James Van Der Hoorn, who now lives in Clapham, said: “It’s been a long journey but everything went to plan in the end and we had terrific support along the way.

“As pilots, things like planning, routing and preparing back-up plans are all part of our training and part of our everyday lives as flight crew so that experience really came in handy for this challenge.

“It’s a great feeling to have done it, and a very humbling thought that we may have helped some kids living difficult lives along the way.”

Donations can be made until January 2, 2017 through this link.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.