The world’s longest and shortest flights, compared

Above it all, including the the Orkney Islands.
Above it all, including the the Orkney Islands.
Image: Reuters/Nigel Roddis
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A new record was set earlier this month with a flight that links Singapore with New York. Reviews suggest that traversing 10,400 miles (16,700 km) and 12 time zones in 19 hours is not all that bad. It does help that there are only business and premium-economy seats on the Singapore Airlines flight.

So much for the the world’s longest flight. What about the world’s shortest commercially operated flight? MarketWatch has found it. It takes less than two minutes between Westray and Papa Westray, two of the Orkney Islands that sit just north of Scotland in the UK.

Loganair, a regional airline, charges £21 (pdf) for a round trip, or $27. Meanwhile,  a Singapore-New York round trip in December 2018 starts at about 4,100 Singapore dollars or $2,968—which is about 110 times more expensive.

The distance between the two Orkney isles is 1.7 miles—about 6,110 times less than the world’s longest flight. So the higher price is actually not so bad per mile flown. And for the extra bucks, you get to choose between lobster thermidor and a special jetlag-reducing Canyon Ranch menu.

Loganair uses a variety of aircraft: Its smallest plane is a Britten Norman Islander that only has a wingspan of 16.15m and seats eight. Singapore Airlines flies with 94 premium-economy seats and 67 business-class seats on an Airbus A350, which has a sticker price of $445 million (though is actually much cheaper for airlines that place bulk orders). 

Finally, the world’s longest flight is about 1,080 times longer in flight time than the world’s shortest.

If you happen to have flown on both the Orkneys and Singapore-New York flights, please do reach out to hi@qz.com. We’d love to hear from you.