A couple of days ago, I published a review of Iberia’s flight from Madrid to Tokyo. At 6,707 miles of great-circle distance, it’s the longest flight in my log book. That said, it’s just three miles ahead of the second longest route I’ve flown on, Doha to New York.
Even with a flight time longer than 13 hours, the above flights are nowhere near the longest ones in the world, though.
In fact, all of the ten longest flights in the world are over 8,000 miles, the top three longest ones are over 9,000 miles, and the longest one – the recently resumed service between Newark and Singapore – is 9,534 miles.
Continue reading to learn more about each of the ten longest flights. To see what the longest domestic flights in the world are, make sure to check this article.
1. Singapore – Newark (Singapore Airlines)
Currently, the longest non-stop route in the world connects, as mentioned in the introduction, the city-state of Singapore with Newark in the United States. At 9,534 miles, it is currently the only flight in the world to cover a distance greater than 9,500 miles.
Singapore Airlines used to operate flights between the two airports using a fleet of Airbus A340-500s for about a decade before terminating them in 2013. The route was resumed recently – on October 11, 2018 – thanks to Singapore Airlines putting their Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) into service.
The daily flights – SQ22 from Singapore to Newark and SQ21 from Newark to Singapore – spend anywhere between sixteen and eighteen hours in the air, and fly either over the Pacific or the Atlantic depending on the wind conditions.
Singapore Airlines only offers premium economy and business classes on these flights.
2. Doha – Auckland (Qatar Airways)
The second longest route in the world is Qatar Airways’ service between Doha and Auckland in New Zealand. Covering a distance of 9,032 miles, the route enjoyed being the world’s longest between its launch on February 6, 2017 and this year’s relaunch of Singapore Airlines’ flight to Newark.
In spite of the flight being shorter in distance than the Singapore – Newark flight, it’s not uncommon for it to clock in at well over 17 hours of flight time.
Qatar Airways uses its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on the route. Currently, the airframes used on this flight are equipped with its older business class, though they should be reconfigured with the excellent QSuites in the not-so-distant future.
While that will be a great news for business class passengers, the reconfiguration will also mean that economy class will be in a denser 10-abreast (instead of 9) configuration.
3. Perth – London (Qantas)
On March 25, 2018, Qantas operated its first flight from Perth in Western Australia to London Heathrow airport. The seventeen-hour flight made history by being the first scheduled non-stop flight between Australia and Europe.
While the 9,009-mile route never had a chance to rank number one on this list as it was launched after Qatar Airways’ Doha – Auckland route, for the foreseeable future, it will be able to enjoy the status of being the sole non-stop Australia – Europe route.
Qantas uses Boeing 787-9 aircraft with 42 seats in business, 28 in premium economy and 166 in economy class on this route. And, while it’s the Perth – London segment that made this list, the flights originate and terminate in Melbourne.
The airline will have a chance to claim the number one (and two, and three, …) spot on this list in the coming years once its Project Sunrise is completed and 10,000-mile flights between Melbourne and Sydney, and London and New York are launched.
4. Dubai – Auckland (Emirates)
Until Qatar Airways launched its route to Auckland in early 2017, its neighbor Emirates’ route connecting Dubai with the New Zealand city was the world’s longest route. With Dubai being further east than Doha, the flight covers a shorter distance of 8,824 miles – as such, it’s also the first flight on this list that’s under 9,000 miles.
As Emirates operates the daily flights using its three-class Airbus A380s, the Dubai – Auckland route is currently the longest flight in the world offering first class. Passengers can also choose business and economy class on the route.
5. Singapore – Los Angeles (Singapore Airlines)
While Singapore Airlines operates direct one-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles via Tokyo Narita, it also recently resumed non-stop flights between the two cities using the Airbus A350-900ULR in a premium-heavy (business and premium economy classes only) configuration.
The 8,770-mile route was resumed on November 2, 2018, and operated three times in its first week. Then, the frequency was increased to daily for a couple of weeks, and currently, there are 10 weekly flights with two daily flights being operated on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Thanks to that, it became the world’s longest route to operate more than once a day.
6. Houston – Sydney (United)
The sixth and seventh longest scheduled flights in the world both connect the US state of Texas with Sydney in Australia. The slightly longer and newer of the two connects Sydney with Texas’ most populous city, Houston, covering a distance of 8,596 miles.
United Airlines operates the route daily and uses its Boeing 787-9 aircraft configured with 48 business class seats and 204 economy class seats (of which 88 are “Economy Plus” seats with increased legroom).
The Houston – Sydney route is also the longest scheduled route operated by an American airline.
7. Sydney – Dallas (Qantas)
Qantas’ Sydney – Dallas which is currently world’s seventh longest route was, at 8,578 miles, the world’s longest route between 2013 and 2016. It was also the longest route out of both Texas and Sydney until the above Sydney – Houston route was launched in January 2018.
The route was launched in 2011 using Boeing 747-400ER aircraft. Due to strong headwinds and the 747’s limitations, the return flight from Dallas to Sydney couldn’t operate non-stop, and stopped in Brisbane along the way instead.
The flights have been operating non-stop in both directions since September 2014 when Airbus A380-800 was deployed on the route.
With first, business, premium economy, and economy classes offered, Sydney – Dallas is world’s longest route operated by aircraft in a four-class configuration.
8. Manila – New York (Philippine Airlines)
Until late October 2018, Philippine Airlines used to operate flights from Manila to New York via Vancouver with neither of the two segments being anywhere near the top 10. From October 29, 2018, however, the route went non-stop – covering a distance of 8,520 miles and becoming the eight longest flights in the world.
While a two-class Boeing 777-300ER used to operate the one-stop route, since going non-stop, the flight has been operated with Philippine Airlines latest toy – the three-class Airbus A350-900 offering not only business and economy, but also premium economy class.
9. San Francisco – Singapore (Singapore Airlines & United)
The ninth longest route in the world brings Singapore to this list for the third time.
Unlike the previous two routes connecting Singapore with the United States which are only operated by Singapore Airlines, the 8,446-mile route to San Francisco is also served by United Airlines. That makes it the world’s longest route to be served by more than one airline.
Interestingly, both of the airlines launched the route around the same time. Singapore Airlines launched the route in October 2016 and currently operates it ten times a week with a non-ULR Airbus A350-900. United Airlines launched it a bit earlier – in June 2016 – and currently operates two flights a day using Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
With three to four daily frequencies, this is by far the busiest route in the top ten.
10. Atlanta – Johannesburg (Delta Air Lines)
The final, tenth, place on this list currently belongs to Delta Air Lines’ route connecting its Atlanta hub with Johannesburg in South Africa. Flights between the two cities cover a distance of 8,439 miles and are operated by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
Besides being the tenth longest route in the world, the route is also – quite obviously – the longest route out of Africa, the longest route operated by Delta Air Lines, and the third longest route operated by a US airline.
Here’s a quick overview of the ten longest flights in the world:
|1||9,534 mi||Singapore – Newark||Singapore Airlines||Airbus A350-900ULR|
|2||9,032 mi||Doha – Auckland||Qatar Airways||Boeing 777-200LR|
|3||9,009 mi||Perth – London||Qantas||Boeing 787-9|
|4||8,824 mi||Dubai – Auckland||Emirates||Airbus A380-800|
|5||8,770 mi||Singapore – Los Angeles||Singapore Airlines||Airbus A350-900ULR|
|6||8,596 mi||Houston – Sydney||United Airlines||Boeing 787-9|
|7||8,578 mi||Sydney – Dallas||Qantas||Airbus A380-800|
|8||8,520 mi||Manila – New York||Philippine Airlines||Airbus A350-900|
|9||8,446 mi||San Francisco – Singapore||Singapore Airlines
|10||8,439 mi||Atlanta – Johannesburg||Delta Air Lines||Boeing 777-200LR|
Apart from the tenth longest flight which connects the United States with South Africa and the eight longest one which connects Manila and New York, the top ten basically consists of two kinds of flights:
- Flights between the United States and Singapore due to strong economic ties between the two countries and strong demand for premium seats.
- Flights between Australia and New Zealand and the rest of the world due to the overall remoteness of the two countries.
While I haven’t flown on any of the ten longest flights in the world, I hope to have a chance to try at least one of them soon. Ideally, it would be the Perth – London flight since – while not the longest – it’s the only flight providing a direct link between Australia and Europe.
Have you taken any of the world’s longest flights? If so, what was your experience? Would you do it again or would you go for a one-stop option the next time?