Singapore Airlines is the undisputed champion of long-distance
flying; Cathay Pacific is the contender; Qantas has its eyes on the
crown, but a surprise outsider, Biman Bangladesh, has this week counted
itself out of the race by dumping a new route linking Dhaka with Toronto
Biman planned to launch regular flights between Bangladesh and Canada
in June and has already operated a non-stop commercial flight that
touched down in Toronto after 18 hours and 35 minutes in the air. It was
operated by a Boeing 787-9.
But the airline has decided that the non-stop route is commercially
unviable and will instead opt for a one-stop service, most likely
refuelling in Europe.
Singapore Airlines' flight SQ23 is currently the world's longest
non-stop flight. Its New York JFK to Singapore Changi is in the air, on
average, for 17 hours and 40 minutes. The 15,349km flight is operated by
an Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft.
Pacific is reported to be planning the world’s longest passenger flight
by rerouting its New York to Hong Kong service over the Atlantic in a
flight path that steers clear of Russia. The non-stop 16,618km journey
takes 17 hours and 50 minutes.
The flight will leave New York and cross the Atlantic Ocean, Europe
and Asia instead of its usual route over the Pacific Ocean, the airline
However, Cathay may not hold the record for long as the route
may change again as summer tailwinds over the Atlantic become less
powerful - making the Pacific a more economical option.
Qantas will resume its Perth-London service in June and is pressing
ahead with its Project Sunrise non-stop flights from Sydney to London
(17,000km) and Melbourne to New York (16,700km), expected to launch in
The ultra-long-range flights are possible thanks to improved
technology on aircraft like the A350-900 and the Boeing 787-9. These
aircraft are also more cost efficient.
As prevailing winds can affect flight times, distance travelled is a more relevant guide to the world’s longest flights.
Top 5 of the world's longest direct flights
- New York to Singapore / Singapore Airlines / 15,349km / Airbus A350-900ULR
- Newark to Singapore / Singapore Airlines / 15,326km / Airbus A350-900ULR
- Perth to London/ Qantas / 14,500km / Boeing 787-9 (resumes June 2022)
- Dallas to Melbourne / Qantas / 14,471km / Boeing 787-9 (launches December 2022)
- New York to Auckland / Air New Zealand / 14,207km / Boeing 787-9 (launches September 2022)