Here’s something of absolute no consequence that I’m nonetheless quite intrigued by. I know I have a lot of readers who are airline/plane nerds, so off the top of your head, think about what you think the shortest transatlantic flight is.
You can let me know below if the route that came to your mind is correct or not.
How do you define a transatlantic flight?
I think the first challenge in deciding on the shortest transatlantic flight is deciding what exactly constitutes a transatlantic flight. I mean, the definition — “crossing the Atlantic” — is obvious enough.
But how do you define that? Is a flight from the US to Iceland transatlantic? What about a flight from the US to the Azores? Personally I don’t view either of those routes as being transatlantic, though I think someone else could reasonably disagree with me.
Meanwhile I’d say a flight that gets close to the coast of a continent — say within a few hundred miles — is transatlantic. Others can certainly disagree with me, so I’m prefacing the below route with a warning that people can reasonably disagree with me.
Some of the shortest transatlantic flights
When I think of short transatlantic flights, the first route that comes to mind is New York to London. It’s certainly not the shortest, but it’s the transatlantic route I most associate with not being able to get enough sleep due to how short it is. That flight covers a distance of about 3,500 miles.
There are plenty of routes that shorter, and arguably Air Canada’s flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to London, England, is the shortest. That flight covers a distance of just about 2,300 miles, so it’s shorter than many transcons.
Is there actually a shorter flight, though?
That might not actually be the shortest transatlantic flight. Cabo Verde Airlines operates a couple of flights that might be contenders as well.
They fly once weekly between Sal, Cape Verde, and Recife, Brazil. This flight covers a distance of just under 1,900 miles, and is blocked at four hours.
But there’s an even shorter one. They also fly twice weekly between Sal, Cape Verde, and Fortaleza, Brazil, which covers a distance of just under 1,800 miles.
Cape Verde is just a few hundred miles off the coast of Senegal, so personally I’d consider it close enough to being on one side of the Atlantic for the purposes of calling a flight transatlantic. Others may disagree, though.
Unless I’m missing something, St John’s to London is the shortest “traditional” transatlantic flight, as it typically takes 4-5 hours.
However, many would argue that some flights to & from Cape Verde are shorter transatlantic flights, though that comes down to whether or not you think Cape Verde is close enough to the African continent for the route to be considered transatlantic.
Does anyone know of any shorter transatlantic flights? Do you consider Sal to Recife to be a transatlantic flight?