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The World's Top 10 Longest Flights Ranked by Distance

The World's Top 10 Longest Flights Ranked by Distance

BY HADI AHMAD Published on April 11, 2024 0 COMMENTS

Technology continues to modernize and evolve our world as we know it. One of these ways is via air travel, which has undoubtedly shrunk the world and made it more interconnected. Journeys that would have once seemed impossible or taken forever to complete can now be undertaken in hours. These are the world's ten longest flights by distance.

 



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Houston - Sydney: United Airlines

 

United Airlines' nonstop service from its Houston, Texas (IAH) hub to Sydney, Australia (SYD) currently ranks as the world's tenth-longest flight. This route started on January 18, 2018, and traverses 8,596 miles (13,834 kilometers). United uses the Boeing 787-9 on this route, an aircraft with a maximum range of 8,786 miles. 

 

The outbound flight, UA101, takes roughly 17 hours to reach Sydney. However, the return flight UA100 is slightly shorter at around 14-15 hours. Sydney Airport has another route to Texas that barely misses the "Top 10" list. This flight is Qantas' nonstop link to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), which is 8,577 miles (13,803 kilometers).

 

Photo: Dylan Campbell | AeroXplorer

 

San Francisco - Bengaluru: Air India

 

Ninth on the list is Air India's nonstop flight from San Francisco, California (SFO) to Bengaluru, India (BLR), a route that links two of the world's biggest tech hubs. Air India launched this coveted flight on January 9, 2021, with the Boeing 777-200LR. A long-range aircraft is a must for this route as it covers 8,702 miles (14,004 kilometers). The distance is covered in 17 hours on the SFO-BLR flight (AI176) and 15 hours on the BLR-SFO leg (AI175).

 

United Airlines once announced its intention to serve the SFO-BLR route a few years back. However, these plans were shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later Russian airspace restrictions. San Francisco to Bangalore is Air India's longest flight, and the route is served four times a week.

 

Photo: JV Mehta | AeroXplorer

 

Los Angeles - Singapore: Singapore Airlines

 

Singapore Airlines' service between Los Angeles, California (LAX) and Singapore (SIN) is the world's eighth-longest flight at the time of writing. Singapore Airlines operates two regular services to LAX, the daily SQ38/37 and the four-weekly SQ36/35. This route covers 8,770 miles (14,114 kilometers) and is flown on the Airbus A350-900.

 

It is worth noting that Singapore does not use its A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range) aircraft on this route. Instead, it uses more standard A350-900s with Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class. LAX-SIN is covered anywhere from 16.5 to 17 hours, while the SIN-LAX flight takes 14-15 hours.

 

Photo: Arthur Chow | AeroXplorer

 

Auckland - Dubai: Emirates

 

It wouldn't be a "longest flights in the world" list without some flights coming from the Middle East. That said, Emirates' Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Dubai, UAE (DXB) route is number seven. This route is served daily by the Airbus A380-800. The outbound flight, EK448, covers the route in 14-15 hours, while the return flight, EK449, takes a longer 16.5-17 hours coming back west. In all, the route covers 8,823 miles (14,200 kilometers).

 



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Emirates launched this flight on March 2, 2016. Aside from Auckland, Emirates also serves Christchurch (CHC) in New Zealand. However, that service goes via Sydney. If Emirates served Christchurch nonstop from Dubai, that route would be the ninth-longest flight in the world as it would cover 8,730 miles (14,050 kilometers).

 

Photo: Adam Jackson | AeroXplorer

 

New York-JFK - Auckland: Air New Zealand and Qantas

 

New York (JFK) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) is the only route on this list currently served by more than one airline. Air New Zealand and Qantas currently serve the route with Boeing 787-9s. JFK-AKL covers 8,828 miles (14,207 kilometers) and takes 15-17 hours to complete, the flight to Auckland being longer. Air New Zealand launched its route to JFK on September 17, 2022. The service uses flight numbers NZ1 and NZ2.

 

Qantas had been serving JFK for years with Boeing 747s. However, this service was from Brisbane (BNE) and stopped in Los Angeles (LAX). Flying nonstop from New York to Australia is difficult due to various range and payload restrictions. As such, Qantas ended its LAX stopover for the JFK service and introduced the Auckland route from JFK on June 14, 2023. 

 

Flight QF4 operates from JFK to Auckland first. Then, after about two hours on the ground, the flight continues for another three hours to Sydney. The opposite route is true for QF3.

 

Photo: Lucas Wu | AeroXplorer

 

Dallas/Fort Worth - Melbourne: Qantas

 

We mentioned earlier that Qantas' Dallas to Sydney route barely misses the "Top 10" list. However, Qantas' other route from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) comes in fifth. Qantas launched 787-9 service from DFW to Melbourne, Australia (MEL) on December 3, 2022. This route covers 8,992 miles (14,472 kilometers) and takes 15-17 hours, depending on the direction. As usual, the westbound flight (to Melbourne) is longer than the flight coming east.

 

Melbourne is the third destination that is served nonstop from Dallas. In addition to the Qantas flights serving Sydney and Melbourne, American Airlines recently began service to Auckland with 787-9s.

 

Photo: Blazer | AeroXplorer

 

Perth - London: Qantas

 

Our next placeholder is another flight operated by Qantas. The world's fourth-longest flight is Qantas' nonstop link between Perth, Australia (PER) and London Heathrow, England (LHR). This flight operates as QF9 to London and QF10 back to Australia. It originates and terminates in Melbourne, so the aircraft flies from Melbourne to Perth first before continuing to England. The route is operated by the Boeing 787-9, a plane that has proven perfect for these ultra-long-haul voyages. Perth to London takes 9,009 miles (14,499 kilometers) and around 18 hours to traverse. 

 

When the route began on March 24, 2018, it was the first nonstop link between Australia and the United Kingdom. Previously, Qantas had served London from Sydney with a stopover in Dubai. This service was on its A380 and technically continues to operate. However, the stopover has since changed to Singapore.

 

Photo: Blazer | AeroXplorer

 

Auckland - Doha: Qatar Airways

 

What was once the longest flight in the world has since dropped to third place. This is none other than Qatar Airways' flight between Auckland, New Zealand, and Doha, Qatar (DOH). Qatar Airways launched the route on February 6, 2017, with the Boeing 777-200LR. The route covers 9,032 miles (14,535 kilometers) and takes 15-17 hours. Qatar Airways has since upgraded the service to the Airbus A350-1000.

 

Photo: Tejas Bhatia | AeroXplorer

 

Newark - Singapore: Singapore Airlines

 

There was this one before Auckland to Doha became the world's longest flight (for a time). Singapore Airlines' nonstop service from Newark, New Jersey (EWR) to Singapore is second. This route has quite a history, so much so that it has its own Wikipedia article. It was launched on June 28, 2004, with the Airbus A340-500. These aircraft were specially configured with only Business Class and Premium Economy seats.

 

World's longest flight to land for the last time
Photo: Getty Images

 

Singapore Airlines continued to fly its A340-500 on the route until November 23, 2013, when it announced the route would be suspended due to financial challenges. However, once Singapore Airlines became the launch customer of the Airbus A350ULR (Ultra Long Range), the resumption of Newark-Singapore service was imminent. As such, the beloved flight numbers SQ21 and SQ22 returned to the skies on October 11, 2018. The A350ULRs, like the A340-500s, also have only Business and Premium Economy seats.

 

The route was suspended again in 2020 due to the pandemic but resumed on March 27, 2022, and has continued to operate ever since. As a fun fact, Singapore's seven A350ULRs carry the exact same registrations that the A340-500s once did. These registrations are 9V-SGA through 9V-SGG. Newark to Singapore covers 9,534 miles (15,344 kilometers), and the flights are 18 hours long.

 

Singapore Air Readies First Airbus A350ULR For World's Longest Flight
Photo: Airbus

 

New York-JFK - Singapore: Singapore Airlines

 

The world's longest flight is New York Kennedy, New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN), operated by Singapore Airlines. This nonstop service beats the Newark-Singapore flight by just three miles. The route covers 9,537 miles (15,349 kilometers) and uses the A350ULR. Singapore Airlines launched this route on November 9, 2020. Previously, their only route to JFK was from Singapore via Frankfurt, Germany (FRA), which continues to operate on the Boeing 777-300ER.

 

The JFK route operates under flight numbers SQ23 and SQ24. It's interesting to see Singapore opting to serve both JFK and Newark nonstop since both airports are close. However, JFK is 21 miles away from Newark Airport. Therefore, despite the minimal distance, this minimal distance gives JFK-SIN the edge over EWR-SIN as the world's longest flight.

 



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

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