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The World's Longest Flights to Latin America

The World's Longest Flights to Latin America

BY HADI AHMAD Published on April 02, 2024 1 COMMENTS

Air travel has made the world a much smaller place. Journeys that would have once taken weeks or months to complete are now completed in hours. You may have seen various lists of the current longest flights in the world. However, this article will take it further and list the five current longest flights offered from Latin America. 


These will not be limited to nonstop flights, as you will see shortly. To clarify, Latin America includes Central America and South America in addition to North American countries like Mexico and Costa Rica.


Direct vs. Nonstop


Three flights on this list are direct flights, which involve one aircraft operating multiple legs under the same flight number. For example, Southwest Airlines uses this concept for its famous "no plane change" itineraries. Breeze Airways does something similar with its "BreezeThru" itineraries as well.


Photo: Ricardo Mungarro | AeroXplorer


Nonstop flights are different in that the flight goes from one airport to the other without stopping anywhere in between. This article does not limit our analysis to nonstop flights; some examples include direct flights.


São Paulo to Doha


Qatar Airways' nonstop service from Doha (DOH) to São Paulo, Brazil (GRU) traverses 7,368 miles and is operated twice daily. One flight, QR780, departs GRU at 8:15 p.m. while the other, QR774, departs at 1:20 a.m. Therefore, plane spotters can see two Qatar Airways 777s parked at the terminal or remote stands daily.




A mix of Boeing 777-200LRs and 777-300ERs currently operates both flights. The flight clocks in at 15 hours, flying westward to Brazil, but the flight back to Qatar is slightly shorter at 14 hours. Qatar Airways has previously also utilized the Airbus A350-1000 on this route.


Photo: Adam Ostler | AeroXplorer


São Paulo to Dubai


The next route on the list is another from Brazil, specifically São Paulo. It's also another nonstop link to the Middle East, this time provided by Emirates. The Dubai-based airline operates the São Paulo route daily with its Airbus A380 on flights EK261/262. This route traverses 7,592 miles and elapses 15 hours from Dubai (DXB) to Brazil.


Much like Qatar Airways' service to Doha, the flight back to the Middle East is slightly shorter, ranging from 14 to 14 and a half hours long. This route is the only A380 flight for Emirates to all of Latin America. The airline's other routes utilize the Boeing 777-200LR, one of which will be covered shortly.


Photo: Tyler Giunchi | AeroXplorer


Santiago to Amsterdam (via Buenos Aires)


Now, we will move into our direct flights on the list. The first is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' service from its Amsterdam (AMS) hub to Santiago, Chile (SCL), with a stopover in Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE). KLM operates this route daily on flights KL701/702 using the Boeing 787-9. Many airlines combine various South American destinations into one flight, and another example will be the next direct flight on this list. 




KL701 first flies from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, traversing 7,107 miles and 13 and a half hours. After a roughly two-hour stop in Argentina, the flight travels another 700 miles across to Chile with a flight time of two hours. The voyage back to Amsterdam is about 90 minutes, first to Argentina, two hours on the ground, and then another 12 hours to Europe. This journey covers 7,816 miles from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires to Santiago.


Photo: Jamie Chapman | AeroXplorer


Buenos Aires to Dubai (via Rio de Janeiro)


Next on the list is a direct flight from Emirates. This routing is from Dubai (DXB) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE). Emirates operates this route as flights EK247/248 with its long-range Boeing 777-200LR.


In total, DXB-GIG-EZE covers 8,624 miles. The first leg from Dubai to Brazil is 7,385 miles, covered in 14 and a half to 15 hours. After 90 minutes on the ground in Rio, the flight continues another 1,240 miles to Argentina, which takes another two or so hours.


It is worth mentioning that you can fly Emirates on solely the Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro sectors. Emirates has fifth-freedom rights to transport passengers solely between the two cities. This is common in Latin America and particularly South America. Carriers such as Turkish Airlines also exercise these rights on their route between Buenos Aires and São Paulo.


Photo: Peter Cuthbert | AeroXplorer


Mexico City to Dubai (via Barcelona)


Emirates takes the crown for the longest flight offered from Latin America. This is a direct flight from Dubai (DXB) to Barcelona, Spain (BCN) to Mexico City, Mexico (MEX). Emirates operates this route daily on flights EK255/256 using the Boeing 777-200LR. It's also worth noting that Emirates has a dedicated service to Barcelona only, EK185/186, using the Airbus A380.


In total, DXB-BCN-MEX traverses 9,122 miles. First, the aircraft flies from Dubai to Barcelona, which is 3,221 miles and covers around seven hours. After two hours on the ground in Barcelona, the flight continues another 5,900 miles and ten hours to Mexico City. Like the Buenos Aires - Rio sectors, Emirates has fifth-freedom rights to fly passengers solely between Mexico City and Barcelona or vice versa. You can even use this flight between Barcelona and Dubai if it fits your itinerary better.


Photo: Josh H. | AeroXplorer


But why the stopover in Barcelona? Dubai to Mexico City is 8,914 miles, and the 777-200LR has a massive range of 9,845 miles, so why can't Emirates fly nonstop? This all comes down to the high altitude of Mexico City. Mexico City Airport is 7,316 feet above mean sea level (AMSL). As we covered in a recent article, the higher the altitude, the less dense the air is. 


Given the decreased air density, this impacts aircraft performance and means planes would take longer to get airborne. As such, while the 777-200LR can fly 8,914 nonstop, the plane could not take off in Mexico City with a full load of fuel and passengers for the voyage to Dubai.



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Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

Comments (1)

Kent You have missed the very long flight from Sydney to Santiago or BA. I think these flights are 18 hours!
43d ago • Reply

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