The movie is loosely based on the novel "Orbit" by Thomas H. Block, from 1982. In the novel, a hypersonic plane on a cruise from New York City to Sydney exceeds its cruise altitude, due to sabotage by a revenge-seeking company engineer.

This was Jocelyn Brando's final acting role before her death on November 27, 2005, at the age of eighty-six.

Released theatrically in the UK and several other countries by Orion Pictures.

The logo for the Starflight airline bears a strong resemblance to that of Rockwell International, the company that constructed the Space Shuttle orbiters. The movie was released in 1983, two years after the first orbital shuttle mission.

Although it is not affiliated with Universal's highly successful Airport franchise, this film is sometimes referred to as Airport 1985.

This movie was mentioned in several interviews by Director Stanley Kubrick, who expressed great regret he did not pay as close attention to the Laws of Physics and tenants of common sense in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), as the people responsible for Starflight One. In fact, he often stated that the plot device that required the plane's designer to be brought down to Earth to determine a method of rescue, instead of simply using the often mentioned state of the art media bay contained on Starflight One simply to talk to the ground engineers a stroke of sheer filmmaking genius.