The World’s Record-Breaking Flights

by Troy Vigushin

It’s no secret that we eat, sleep and breathe travel over here at Flight Centre, and when it comes to airlines and flights, we make it our job to stay on top of the latest trends. Ever since the Wright Brothers first launched their ideas into the skies, the travel industry has continually improved the engineering of aircraft to soar high or go faster. If you find yourself wondering just how far we’ve come today and what worldly extremes are now accessible by commercial air, we’ve put together some of the world’s longest, shortest and busiest flights, along with what makes them worthy of receiving a record-breaking title.

World’s Longest Flight

Emirates: Dubai – Auckland 

Emirates plane

  • This route was only just launched on March 1st, 2016 and is currently the World’s longest flight at 8827 miles.
  • The inaugural flight was operated by an Emirates A380 aircraft with the ongoing scheduled service being operated by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
  • It is currently the only non-stop flight from the Middle East to Auckland.
  • The scheduled flight time is a lengthy 15h 55m heading eastbound (Dubai to Auckland) and 17h 15m heading westbound (Auckland to Dubai).
  • The addition of this flight marks the 4th flight per day that Emirates operates into Auckland, the other 3 daily flights transit via Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane in both directions.

Future World’s Longest Flight

Qatar Airways: Doha – Auckland

Qatar Airways 777 Business Class

  • This route is scheduled to begin service on December 3rd, 2016 and will become the World’s longest flight when active covering a staggering 9032 miles.
  • The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR featuring the latest on board products from Qatar Airways.
  • The flight time is scheduled at a longer 16h 20m heading eastbound (Doha to Auckland) and 17h 30m heading westbound (Auckland to Doha).
  • Qatar announced this route shortly after Emirates commenced service but out of respect for Emirates they will launch in December as this route will directly compete with Emirates for customers travelling to and from New Zealand.

Largest Capacity Flight

Emirates: Dubai – Copenhagen, Bangkok, Manchester, and Kuala Lumpur

  • Emirates, the world’s largest customer of the Airbus A380, launched a new 2-class version of their Airbus A380 version on Dec 1st, 2015.
  • No other carrier operates an Airbus A380 in a 2-class configuration.
  • The aircraft is configured with 58 Lie-flat Business Class Seats and 557 Economy seats bringing the total capacity of this aircraft to 615 seats!
  • Emirates currently has 74 Airbus A380’s in their fleet with only four of them being a high capacity, 2-class configuration. They also have another 140 A380’s on order but there is no word on how many of them will be in this 2-class configuration.

Busiest Route

By Number of Flights: Rio De Janeiro – Sao Paulo

Cristo de Corcovado e Bahia de Guanabara RJ Brasil

  • On average, 284 flights operate daily between these two cities across multiple airlines (Avianca, GOL, and TAM to name a few).
  • Rio De Janeio has 2 airports – Galeao International Airport and Santos Dumont Airport that facilitate domestic and international flights to destinations all over the world.
  • Sao Paulo also has 2 airports – Congonhas Airport and Guarulhos International Airport that facilitate domestic and international flights to destinations all over the world.

World’s Shortest Flight

By Distance: Westray – Papa Westray (Scotland)

Westray Papa Westray

  • This service is exclusively operated by Loganair.
  • The flight is scheduled at just a 2-minute duration in each direction.
  • The distance between Westray and Papa Westray is only 1.7 miles (2.73km) which is within range for the average human eye to see.
  • Westray and Papa Westray are in the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland.
  • Everyone gets a commemorative certificate to recognize they have been on the worlds shortest flight once completed.

World’s Shortest Jet flight

Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to Brazzaville (The Congo)

Brazaville map of flight

  • This is the world’s shortest flight operated by a jet aircraft.
  • The distance between the two airports is just 17 miles but it is an international flight, flying from The Democratic Republic of the Congo to The Congo.
  • Flight time is scheduled at 20 minutes (gate to gate) but air time is typically 8-10 minutes to cover this short distance. This takes into account time to climb, descend and fit in with incoming and outgoing traffic patterns at both airports.
  • The flight is operated by Ethiopian Airlines, a proud member of the Star Alliance.
  • A Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft is deployed on this route which also marks one of the shortest 787 Dreamliner flights in the world.

Have you ever experienced one of these record breaking flights? Let us know in the comments below!