More airlines opt for ultra-long-haul flights

October 10, 2018
Ultra-long-haul routes airlines Singapore
Qatar is about to lose the world's longest route to Singapore Airlines: photo: Qatar.

The title of the world’s longest flight, soon to be reclaimed by Singapore Airlines, has been a moveable feast in recent years as more airlines have introduced ultra-long-haul routes.

The trophy is currently held by Qatar Airways on its Auckland-Doha service with a nominal flight time of just over 18 hours and a distance of  14,535kms (9.032 miles) using a Boeing 777-200LR.

But that mantle will pass to Singapore Airlines when it this week launches its A350-900ULR flight of 15,341km (9532m) between Singapore and New York.

READ: Anatomy of a Singapore Airlines superjet.

Until then, Qantas comes in in a close second after it connected Perth and London in a  non-stop flight for the first time using a Boeing 787-9.  Perth-London comes in at 14,500km (9010m) with a flight time of 17 hours and 20 minutes.

In fourth position is United Airlines’  B787-9 flight between Los-Angeles and Singapore logging 14113km (8,770m) and flight time of 17 hours 50 minutes. That’s followed by the US carrier’s Houtson—Sydney flight of 13,834 km (8596nm) and 17 hours 50 minutes.

Other flights of more than 17 hours include Dallas-Fort Worth (Qantas) and Singapore-San Francisco (United and Singapore).

Other ultra-long-haul flights in the pipeline include:

  • Manilla-New York (Philippine Airlines: 13,687skm, 8505m),
  • Mumbai-New York (Air India: 12,566kim, 7808m)
  • Singapore-Los Angeles (Singapore Airlines: 14,106km, 8765m)
  • Chicago-Auckland (Air New Zealand: 13,187km, 8194m) and
  • Singapore-Los Angeles (Singapore Airlines:14,106km, 8765m).

More are in long-term planning and passengers can expect the number to increase with the arrival of the Boeing 777X.

Although the distance between the destinations remains constant, the distance flown and the flight times can vary due to factors such as headwinds, tailwinds and the need to divert around weather.

Qantas has managed to slash almost an hour off the Perth-London flight with a record 16 hours 20minutes thanks to favorable winds.