The 19 Longest Nonstop Flights In The World

The 19 Longest Nonstop Flights In The World

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Over the past decade we’ve seen a trend whereby airlines have added an incredible number of new ultra long haul flights. Admittedly the pandemic temporarily reversed that trend for a couple of years, given border restrictions and the decrease in business travel.

It seems that we’re turning a corner when it comes to travel demand, and we’re starting to see airlines once again resume ultra long haul flights. Not only that, but in recent weeks we’ve even seen two new ultra long haul flights announced.

In this post I wanted to summarize the world’s longest flights, what other ultra long haul flights might be on the horizon, and share why these are more practical than in the past.

Why ultra long haul flights are more practical than ever

Why have we seen airlines launch so many ultra long haul flights in the past several years? It primarily comes down to new aircraft technology. In the past decade the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 have become the backbone of many carriers’ long haul fleets, and these planes are great for airlines and passengers:

  • The planes are ultra long range, and can operate some nonstop flights that previous generation aircraft couldn’t
  • The planes have lower capacity than previous generation aircraft (like the Boeing 747), which opens up more viable markets; it’s much easier to profitably fill 200 seats than it is to profitably fill 400 seats
  • The planes have great economics, and per-passenger fuel burn is significantly lower than previous generation aircraft

So yeah, long range, fuel efficient, low capacity aircraft have done wonders for airlines when it comes to the viability of ultra long haul city pairs. Many routes that could have previously never been profitable now make sense.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000

The world’s 19 longest nonstop flights as of August 2022

Global aviation came to a standstill during the pandemic, but it’s starting to recover, with more and more airlines resuming ultra long haul flights. As a result, I figured it was a good time to check in on the world’s longest flights, given how much the list has changed over the years. Let’s take a look at the 19 longest flights.

I’m basing this list on direct air distance between city pairs, since obviously Russian airspace issues are causing airlines to largely operate circuitous routings. Furthermore, I think distance is a better metric than length of flight, since winds can also have an impact on the duration of flights, and on top of that, some airlines do a lot of schedule padding.

Note that I’ll be counting flights that are either currently operating, or that are expected to be launched or resumed before the end of 2022, based on current schedules (and if they’re not currently operating, I’ll note it below). What’s pretty amazing to me is that all of these flights are over 8,200 miles, which is a long way to go nonstop.

What are the world’s longest flights? Here they are, starting with the longest (I’m including the airline that operates the route, the distance, and the aircraft type used):

  1. New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) / Singapore Airlines / 9,537 miles / Airbus A350-900ULR
  2. Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN) / Singapore Airlines / 9,523 miles / Airbus A350-900ULR
  3. Perth (PER) to London (LHR) / Qantas / 9,010 miles / Boeing 787-9 (resumes June 19, 2022)
  4. Dallas (DFW) to Melbourne (MEL) / Qantas / 8,992 miles / Boeing 787-9 (launches December 2, 2022)
  5. New York (JFK) to Auckland (AKL) / Air New Zealand / 8,828 miles / Boeing 787-9 (launches September 17, 2022)
  6. Auckland (AKL) to Dubai (DXB) / Emirates / 8,824 miles / Boeing 777-200LR (resumes December 2, 2022)
  7. Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN) / Singapore Airlines / 8,770 miles / Airbus A350-900ULR
  8. San Francisco (SFO) to Bangalore (BLR) / Air India / 8,701 miles / Boeing 777-200LR
  9. Darwin (DRW) to London (LHR) / Qantas / 8,620 miles / Boeing 787-9
  10. Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD) / United Airlines / 8,596 miles / Boeing 787-9 (resumes October 28, 2022)
  11. Dallas (DFW) to Sydney (SYD) / Qantas / 8,578 miles / Boeing 787-9
  12. New York (JFK) to Manila (MNL) / Philippine Airlines / 8,520 miles / Airbus A350-900
  13. San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) / Singapore Airlines & United Airlines / 8,446 miles / Airbus A350-900 & Boeing 787-9
  14. Johannesburg (JNB) to Atlanta (ATL) / Delta / 8,439 miles / Airbus A350-900
  15. Dubai (DXB) to Los Angeles (LAX) / Emirates / 8,339 miles / Airbus A380
  16. Jeddah (JED) to Los Angeles (LAX) / Saudia / 8,332 miles / Boeing 777-300ER (resumes April 25, 2022)
  17. Doha (DOH) to Los Angeles (LAX) / Qatar Airways / 8,306 miles / Airbus A350-1000
  18. Hyderabad (HYD) to Chicago (ORD) / Air India / 8,263 miles / Boeing 777-200LR
  19. Toronto (YYZ) to Manila (MNL) / Philippine Airlines / 8,221 miles / Airbus A350-900
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900

I intentionally left out the flight times, since they fluctuate throughout the year due to winds. Furthermore, some airlines pad their schedules more than others (in order to create artificial on-time arrivals). All 19 of these flights are blocked anywhere between 16hr20min and 18hr50min.

Here’s a map with all the routes, which is quite cluttered, as you can see:

What record-breaking flights are on the horizon?

A majority of the world’s longest flights have been launched in the past several years, which raises the question of what other record-breaking flights might be on the horizon. The most exciting recent developments are the launch of Air New Zealand’s Auckland to New York flight, as well as Qantas’ Melbourne to Dallas flight, as both of these will launch in the coming months.

What else is on the horizon?

Qantas Boeing 787-9

Next, while these flights aren’t 8,200+ miles (or are routes that aren’t currently operated), there are some other ultra long haul flights that have either recently launched or are on the horizon:

Vietnam Airlines now flies to the United States

Bottom line

As airlines rebuild their global route networks, we’re not only seeing the resumption of some ultra long haul flights, but even the introduction of some new ones. We’ve seen so many new long haul flights launched in the past five years or so, thanks to how amazing the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 are. Compared to previous generation aircraft, these planes are low capacity, long range, and fuel efficient.

While these marathon flights are great for those traveling in a premium cabin, I can’t imagine doing a nonstop flight like this in economy. In those situations I feel like I’d rather break up the journey than fly nonstop. Heck, even in business class I feel like some of these flights are too long.

Which ultra long haul flight do you find most interesting, and what do you think we’ll see added next?

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  1. FortHay Guest

    There used to be Japan Air and Korean Air flights from Tokyo and Seoul, respectively, to São Paulo, with a stop at LAX. Does any one know if either of those routes will be re-established and if so, when and if the LAX stop will be repeated?

  2. MaxChat Guest

    Am I the only reader who is wondering (make that intrigued) why Bengaluru is ‘viewed with interest’ by major American airlines like UA and AA?
    I can understand AI and BA, but why AA and UA?
    And why not BOM? There are no direct flights from the US to India’s most populated city?

    Isn’t it also strange that in a country of 1.4 billion people, the largest city is only 12 million?

  3. Bystander Guest

    You guys don't appear to have enough to do...

  4. JOHN Guest

    How do the JAL flights from Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow compare given that they are currently flying the long way.

    1. Fran McDonald Guest

      When are they making a flight from Toronto Canada to Malta

  5. Lkmk Guest

    Ben, this is missing Cathay Pacific's returning New York to Hong Kong flight. They're flying over the Atlantic instead of the Pacific, apparently to take advantage of tailwinds (but the flight path avoids Russian airspace... ) Now the flight will be seventeen hours long instead of fifteen.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Why would anyone take flight that deviates from the great circle for subjective (here: political) reasons and use it as an example of anything?

  6. VB Guest

    PER-FCO on QF5/6 should come in at number 17... Commences June 2022

  7. Mashad Guest

    I'm not seeing HYD-ORD scheduled for the rest of 2022... perhaps Air India got rid of that one? Also for BLR-SFO I'm not seeing it scheduled for the rest of 2022 by Air India but United has that scheduled to start in late October

  8. iamhere Guest

    Interesting that none of the US to Asia flights rank in the top except for Singapore such as Indonesia, China, Japan, etc.

  9. JohnFromNevada Guest

    I flew economy San Francisco to Dubai and also LAX to Sydney. Not fun but I’m still alive.

  10. Bob Guest

    I flew economy from EWR to HKG eight years ago and there was some glitch with the flight plan after we left the gate and sat on the tarmac for at least two hours.

    I think I as on that plane for over 20 hours.

    I would rather spend two extra days at my vacation destination that upgrade travel.

  11. Tom Guest

    I used to travel pre Covid IAH-TPE on BR 4 times a year for business. This clocks in at 7,939 miles and usually took around 16 hours. I personally loved this trip despite the long flight. Taiwan is an amazing country and BR provides excellent business class.

  12. Akshay Guest

    I think Bengaluru- SFO and Hyd-Chicago flights are stopped and no more available for booking.

  13. Tyler Hoa Guest

    SFO to DOH on Qatar is 8,070

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      It's actually 8,087

  14. Sean M. Diamond

    The constant references to the old colonial name of "Bangalore" is a bit insensitive. The city was officially renamed as "Bengaluru" in 2014.

    1. Hiro Gold

      But on colloquial terms, almost everyone I've talked to in India still refers it by the old name. Similarly, some still call Mumbai as "Bombay", especially the older generations. The only exception seems to be Chennai, where virtually no one now-a-days call it by its old name "Madras".

    2. Charley Guest

      Exactly!

      Less politically correct but absolutely what locals refer to their cities as…

    3. Sean M. Diamond

      @Charley - anglophone "locals" perhaps, but the indigenous names have always been used in the vernacular.

      There are contexts where one or the other may be appropriate (for example, I always claim to have been born in "Bombay" as that was the city name at the time of my birth - but I also embrace the fact that the city is today called "Mumbai" when referring to it in a contemporary context), and I...

      @Charley - anglophone "locals" perhaps, but the indigenous names have always been used in the vernacular.

      There are contexts where one or the other may be appropriate (for example, I always claim to have been born in "Bombay" as that was the city name at the time of my birth - but I also embrace the fact that the city is today called "Mumbai" when referring to it in a contemporary context), and I don't believe an article with encyclopedic value like this one is the right place to use the colonial moniker.

    4. Franklin Guest

      All due respect, this is a pretty uninformed comment. When speaking English, this is the name of the city used nearly everyone in the city except for a fringe from the religious far right. Its not insensitive at all, its just standard practice.

      And to provide a little more context, it has to be understood that name changes are not *just* about decolonization. The reason many people still call Bombay "Bombay" is becuase the...

      All due respect, this is a pretty uninformed comment. When speaking English, this is the name of the city used nearly everyone in the city except for a fringe from the religious far right. Its not insensitive at all, its just standard practice.

      And to provide a little more context, it has to be understood that name changes are not *just* about decolonization. The reason many people still call Bombay "Bombay" is becuase the name change was made to rebrand this cosmopolitan port as the exclusive property of Marathi-speaking Hindus. Using the name Bombay, for many, is an act of rejecting bigotry and evoking a kinder past. In Bangalore's case, though, using the "old" name is standard practice.

    5. Sean M. Diamond

      @Franklin - I won't pretend to speak for "nearly everyone but a fringe from the religious far right", but I assure you as a native Bombayite / Mumbaikar that I do not see it as being the case. I am just as proud of the city's heritage as "Bombay" as I am of its current avatar as "Mumbai", and recognise that the two have their distinct usages.

      However, I think your assertion regarding bigotry is...

      @Franklin - I won't pretend to speak for "nearly everyone but a fringe from the religious far right", but I assure you as a native Bombayite / Mumbaikar that I do not see it as being the case. I am just as proud of the city's heritage as "Bombay" as I am of its current avatar as "Mumbai", and recognise that the two have their distinct usages.

      However, I think your assertion regarding bigotry is actually backwards. It is not the use of "Mumbai" that is intended to stir up tensions, but rather the continued use of "Bombay" by many who (should) know better. In the early 90s when the Bombay/Mumbai name change debate was at its peak, there were definitely communal and classist undertones to the resistance against the name change/reversion. It was fairly common to hear comments from my fellow students at "elite" institutions in the city referring to the potential name change as an agenda the "bloody ghaats" (or even less polite terms on occasion) were pushing to advance some vague conspiracy theory.

      I do not accept that. While the British colonial days were firmly in the past, urban India until the 1990s was very much its own little colonial fiefdom where the English-medium educated elite "ruled" over their "vernacular medium" working-class underlings. The use of colonial era anglicized names was just another means to demonstrate power over the "local" working class and the "local" names that they had always used to refer to these places. It was inevitable that a political movement would eventually rise up in revolt, but it was unfortunate that circumstances conspired for the movement that prevailed in Mumbai to be led by a militant faction of, as you describe it, "Marathi-speaking Hindus" (as opposed to previous far more secular movements of mill workers, etc.. that fizzled out in previous decades). That the Shiv Sena of the 1990s was distasteful for its open embrace of the thug element in society must not automatically taint every single one of their actions from that era, and the name change from Bombay to Mumbai is one that should be viewed outside of that lens.

      For better or for worse, India firmly set itself on the course towards these name changes back in 1960 with the reorganisation of states along lingustic lines and indeed the birth of "Maharashtra" as a state for Marathi speakers. To somehow claim that names like Mumbai and Pune are less legitimate than Bombay or Poona is simply to seek yet another way to linguistically disenfranchise the tens of millions of speakers of the most prominent local language who have referred to them that way for generations.

    6. Ashok Kewalramani Guest

      I won't pretend to speak for "nearly everyone but a fringe from the religious far right", but I assure you as a native Bombayite / Mumbaikar that I do not see it as being the case. Listen: my dick is like 8” long - when it’s NOT angry - and my ballsack is the size of a grapefruit. I am just as proud of the city's heritage as "Bombay" as I am of its current...

      I won't pretend to speak for "nearly everyone but a fringe from the religious far right", but I assure you as a native Bombayite / Mumbaikar that I do not see it as being the case. Listen: my dick is like 8” long - when it’s NOT angry - and my ballsack is the size of a grapefruit. I am just as proud of the city's heritage as "Bombay" as I am of its current avatar as "Mumbai", and recognise that the two have their distinct usages.

      However, I think your assertion regarding bigotry is actually backwards. It is not the use of "Mumbai" that is intended to stir up tensions, but rather the continued use of "Bombay" by many who (should) know better. When I shit I feel shame, but when I fart I feel pride, especially the really loud, really stinky ones. In the early 90s when the Bombay/Mumbai name change debate was at its peak, there were definitely communal and classist undertones to the resistance against the name change/reversion. Let’s do bongs, let’s take bong hits. It was fairly common to hear comments from my fellow students at "elite" institutions in the city referring to the potential name change as an agenda the "bloody ghaats" (or even less polite terms on occasion) were pushing to advance some vague conspiracy theory.

      I do not accept that. While the British colonial days were firmly in the past, urban India until the 1990s was very much its own little colonial fiefdom where the English-medium educated elite "ruled" over their "vernacular medium" working-class underlings. Why, you god damned little brown piece of shit. The use of colonial era anglicized names was just another means to demonstrate power over the "local" working class and the "local" names that they had always used to refer to these places. I like to fuck girls, unlike you fairy homos. It was inevitable that a political movement would eventually rise up in revolt, but it was unfortunate that circumstances conspired for the movement that prevailed in Mumbai to be led by a militant faction of, as you bitch fuck tits asshole piss describe it, "Marathi-speaking Hindus" (as opposed to previous far more secular movements of mill workers, etc.. that fizzled out in previous decades). That the Shiv Sena of the 1990s was distasteful for its open embrace of the thug element in society must not automatically taint every single one of their buttfuck style actions from that era, and the name change from Bombay to Mumbai is one that should be viewed outside of that lens.

      For better or for worse, India firmly set itself on the course towards these name changes back in 1960 with the reorganisation of states along lingustic lines and indeed the birth of "Maharashtra" as a motherfucking state for Marathi speakers. To somehow claim that names like Mumbai and Pune are less legitimate than Bombay or Poona - aka poontang - is simply to seek yet another way to linguistically disenfranchise the tens of millions of speakers of the most prominent local language who have referred to them that way for generations.

    7. VT-CIE Gold

      It is perfectly commonplace to use both Bangalore and Bengaluru in everyday conversations. Bombay too is surprisingly common, as is Calcutta, and many people (including young ones) prefer them to Mumbai and Kolkata in speech. But Madras has been completely weeded out in favour of Chennai, except for the derogatory term ‘Madrasi’, which is used by North Indians (especially Delhiites) to refer to ALL South Indians, irrespective of state.

      This aside, BLR is the hottest...

      It is perfectly commonplace to use both Bangalore and Bengaluru in everyday conversations. Bombay too is surprisingly common, as is Calcutta, and many people (including young ones) prefer them to Mumbai and Kolkata in speech. But Madras has been completely weeded out in favour of Chennai, except for the derogatory term ‘Madrasi’, which is used by North Indians (especially Delhiites) to refer to ALL South Indians, irrespective of state.

      This aside, BLR is the hottest destination for new flights to the US, and ORD has got a flight to HYD due to the huge Telugu diaspora there, but getting a US flight for MAA (Chennai) is a pipe dream. BLR has become the de-facto South Indian city for airlines to launch new long-haul flights, whereas it was MAA until the early 2010s.

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Sean M. Diamond

The constant references to the old colonial name of "Bangalore" is a bit insensitive. The city was officially renamed as "Bengaluru" in 2014.

5
Hiro Gold

But on colloquial terms, almost everyone I've talked to in India still refers it by the old name. Similarly, some still call Mumbai as "Bombay", especially the older generations. The only exception seems to be Chennai, where virtually no one now-a-days call it by its old name "Madras".

2
Sean M. Diamond

@Franklin - I won't pretend to speak for "nearly everyone but a fringe from the religious far right", but I assure you as a native Bombayite / Mumbaikar that I do not see it as being the case. I am just as proud of the city's heritage as "Bombay" as I am of its current avatar as "Mumbai", and recognise that the two have their distinct usages. However, I think your assertion regarding bigotry is actually backwards. It is not the use of "Mumbai" that is intended to stir up tensions, but rather the continued use of "Bombay" by many who (should) know better. In the early 90s when the Bombay/Mumbai name change debate was at its peak, there were definitely communal and classist undertones to the resistance against the name change/reversion. It was fairly common to hear comments from my fellow students at "elite" institutions in the city referring to the potential name change as an agenda the "bloody ghaats" (or even less polite terms on occasion) were pushing to advance some vague conspiracy theory. I do not accept that. While the British colonial days were firmly in the past, urban India until the 1990s was very much its own little colonial fiefdom where the English-medium educated elite "ruled" over their "vernacular medium" working-class underlings. The use of colonial era anglicized names was just another means to demonstrate power over the "local" working class and the "local" names that they had always used to refer to these places. It was inevitable that a political movement would eventually rise up in revolt, but it was unfortunate that circumstances conspired for the movement that prevailed in Mumbai to be led by a militant faction of, as you describe it, "Marathi-speaking Hindus" (as opposed to previous far more secular movements of mill workers, etc.. that fizzled out in previous decades). That the Shiv Sena of the 1990s was distasteful for its open embrace of the thug element in society must not automatically taint every single one of their actions from that era, and the name change from Bombay to Mumbai is one that should be viewed outside of that lens. For better or for worse, India firmly set itself on the course towards these name changes back in 1960 with the reorganisation of states along lingustic lines and indeed the birth of "Maharashtra" as a state for Marathi speakers. To somehow claim that names like Mumbai and Pune are less legitimate than Bombay or Poona is simply to seek yet another way to linguistically disenfranchise the tens of millions of speakers of the most prominent local language who have referred to them that way for generations.

1
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