Updated Oct. 12, 2018
Singapore Airlines took back the “world’s longest flight” title on Oct. 11 when it resumed non-stop service between Singapore and Newark.
With a distance of 9,534 statute miles (via Great Circle Mapper), the new Singapore Airlines route knocked Qatar Airways’ 9,032-mile run between Doha and Auckland, New Zealand, out of the top spot.
So, what are the other longest airline routes in the world? It's a question I get frequently at Today in the Sky, so I reached out to the folks at OAG to help us list the longest flights for 2018. I combined that data with mileage figures from Great Circle Mapper and the airlines themselves to compile the world’s 25 longest regularly scheduled airline flights as measured by distance. The flights represent routes flying at least once a week in the schedule for October 2018.
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Many of the current "top 25" routes were added within the past two years. Qantas’ Perth-London route, for example, began just this past March. It’s the first-ever regularly scheduled non-stop flight between Europe and Australia. Today, it’s the world’s third-longest flight at 9,009 miles and a flight time of about 17 hours.
United Airlines has several newly launched routes that now rank among the world’s 25 longest. They include San Francisco-Singapore (launched in June 2016) and Houston-Sydney (launched in January 2018).
United didn’t have the San Francisco-Singapore route to itself for long. In October 2016, Singapore Airlines added its own service on the route, now the world’s eighth-longest. However, United also is giving up one of its longest routes. It will end service on its Los Angeles-Singapore route on Oct. 27, though Singapore Airlines will add its own service on the route on Nov. 2. L.A.-Singapore is currently the world's fifth-longest regularly schedule airline route.
You can see the full "top 25" longest routes (based on distance) in the above gallery, starting at the bottom – No. 25 between New York JFK and Guangzhou, China – and going the whole way through to the current No. 1: Newark-Singapore.
We’ll continue to update the list as new routes are added throughout 2018. Others likely to move into the top 25 this year included planned routes by Air New Zealand (Auckland-Chicago O’Hare) and Philippine Airlines (New York JFK-Manila).
Stay tuned ..
Notes about the data: Routes are ranked by the so-called “great circle” distance – or the shortest possible route between two points on the globe. Actual distance varies by individual flights based on daily weather, winds and other factors. Similarly, scheduled times for all flights will vary day to day for similar reasons.
All mileage totals come from the Great Circle Mapper website. Flight times come from the individual airlines. And the rankings were compiled by OAG, which is a top airline data provider.
Why use distance to rank the longest flights? Despite the scheduled times, actual flights times can vary wildly depending on the exacting routing and weather conditions on any given day. While there's no "correct" way on how to rank the longest flights, we picked the "great circle" distance because it's a set data point that doesn't change based on daily conditions.
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