United States (US) House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's flight to Taiwan on Tuesday, 2 August, became the most tracked flight in history, according to popular tracking service Flightradar24.
From the time it lifted off from Kuala Lumpur, SPAR19 was already the most tracked flight among active flights, according to the website.
By the time it landed in Taipei, it was being tracked by more than 7,08,000 people around the world, making it the most tracked live flight in Flightradar24 history.
Over seven hours, nearly 30 lakh people tracked the flight.
Heightened Tensions Between US and China
The immense international interest in Pelosi's flight isn't surprising since it was expected to, and has raised tensions between China and the US, which has provided economic and military support to Taiwan for decades.
China has always considered Taiwan to be a part of it. Pelosi, being one of the top officials of the US, visits the nation, China sees it as a threat to its sovereignty.
Upon landing, Pelosi released a statement asserting that the congressional delegation's "visit to Taiwan honours America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy."
The sustained interest in this flight led to an "extremely heavy load" on Flightradar24 infrastructure. While its teams worked to restore stability, the website temporarily deployed a waiting room system.
"Shortly after SPAR19 landed, normal access for all users was restored quickly. We continue to make improvements to our systems to provide additional capacity for flights of extreme interest," it said.
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