The world's longest flights revealed

Technology is allowing us to travel further and faster.
Technology is allowing us to travel further and faster.

Technological advancement has meant the distance an aircraft can travel has increased drastically in just the past 30 years.

In 1987, I travelled from Auckland to London on British Airways, at that time the aircraft had to make three stops. Perth, Mumbai (then Bombay), Frankfurt then finally arriving at Heathrow.

The maximum range of the aircraft used then, the 747-200, was 9,300 kilometres. The new Airbus A350 can fly a distance of 15,000 kilometres in comparison.

Going the distance:
 

  • The first ever flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903 travelled just 36 metres
  • The Boeing 747-200 flown in the late 1980s could travel 9300 kilometres non-stop
  • The latest 747-800 can travel 15,000 kilometres.
  • Boeing's 777-200LR can cover a distance of 15,843 kilometres
  • The flight between Westray and Papa Westray in Scotland is just 2.7 kilometres in length.
The new Airbus A350 can fly a distance of 15,000 kilometres.
The new Airbus A350 can fly a distance of 15,000 kilometres. Photo credit: Getty Images

The title of the world's longest flight has been passed around a handful of airlines over the past couple of years as new routes get off the ground.

Currently, Singapore Airlines' flight between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey is the longest, covering a distance of 15,344 kilometres and takes just under 19 hours.

British Airways livery as it was in the late 80's.
British Airways livery as it was in the late 80's. Photo credit: British Airways.

World's longest flights:

  1. Singapore  Newark, New Jersey: 15,344 km (taking 18 hours 45 minutes)
    Singapore Airlines Airbus A350
  2. Auckland  Doha: 14,535 km (taking 18 hours 20 minutes)
    Qatar Airways Boeing 777
  3. Perth - London: 14,499 km (taking 17 hours 20 minutes)
    Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
  4. Auckland  Dubai, New Jersey: 14,200 km (taking 17 hours 20 minutes)
    Emirates Airbus A380
  5. Singapore  Los Angeles: 14,113 km (taking 17 hours 50 minutes)
    Singapore Airlines Airbus A350
The first Wright Brothers flight lasted just half the length of an Airbus A380.
The first Wright Brothers flight lasted just half the length of an Airbus A380. Photo credit: Public domain.

Auckland appears in the top five twice with Emirates offering a non-stop flight to Dubai and Qatar flying to Doha.

Air New Zealand's longest flight, direct to Chicago is 17th on the list. The 16 hour flight covers a distance of 13, 170 kimometres.

Newshub.

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