The 10 Longest Nonstop Flights In The World (From A Points & Planes Perspective)

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With the recent release of the Perth to London route from Qantas and the reopening of the Singapore to New York route from Singapore airlines, travelers worldwide are wondering: “Could I handle a flight that long?”

For many, a 17.5hr long-haul sounds plain awful, and likely conjures thoughts of hours spent cramped in an economy seat.

However, for points and miles geeks, the tables are turned.

These travel hacking ninjas are generally ecstatic about the increasing number of 17+ hour flights. It’s not uncommon for points nerds to go out of their way initially in order to hop on one of the longest commercial flights in the world. (We’d know: we’ve done it!)

10 Longest Non-Stop Flights in the World
The Top 10 Longest Nonstop Flights In The World

Why would anyone subject themselves to a 17+ hour flight on purpose?

Because often, they’re not flying economy.

Jetting around the world (literally) on one of the longest nonstop flights in existence means maximum time to enjoy truly fantastic products. It’s a big redemption win for seriously hard-earned miles!

We’re diving into the 10 longest nonstop flights in the world and what they’re worth from a points perspective — along with some fun facts and a look at future top 10 contenders as well as the aircraft primed to get you there.

The Top 10 Flights

1. Auckland to Doha (Qatar): 9,032 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 40 minutes
Flight number: QR 921
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200LR/Future – Airbus A350 (900 vs. 1000 unknown)
Best business class redemption: 70k Qatar Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
Best first class redemption: 100k American Airlines Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
You could:

  • Watch all 7 movies in the X-Men franchise and still have about 3 hours to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Manhattan to Miami and back, 3.5 times. (It would take you about 6six days.)

This flight crosses a seemingly impossible 10 time zones.

2. Perth to London (Qantas): 9,010 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 20 minutes
Flight number: QF 9
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Best business class redemption: 65k Japan Airlines Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
Best first class redemption: 105k Japan Airlines Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
You could:

  • Watch all 7 movies in the Rocky franchise and still have about 4.5 to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Seattle to San Diego and back more than 3.5 times.

3. Auckland to Dubai (Emirates): 8,824 miles

Scheduled Flight Time: 17 hours 5 minutes
Flight number: EK 449
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Best business class redemption: 
65k Japan Airlines Miles, large cash surcharges, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)
Best first class redemption: 105k Japan Airlines Miles, large cash surcharges, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)

You could:

  • Watch all 5 movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and still have about 5 hours to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Tuscon to Tampa and back twice with miles to spare.

4. Los Angeles to Singapore (United): 8,770 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 50 minutes
Flight number: UA 37
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Best business class redemption: 
67.5k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
Best business class redemption: 90k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
You could:

  • Watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy and still have about 45 minutes to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Portland to Pittsburgh and back more than 1.5 times.

5. Houston to Sydney (United): 8,596 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 30 minutes
Flight number: UA 101
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Best business class redemption: 
80k United Miles, one-way (transfer from Chase)
Best first class redemption: 100k United Miles, one-way (transfer from Chase)
You could:

  • Watch all 4 movies in the Indiana Jones franchise and all 4 movies in the Jurassic Park franchise and still have about 2 hours to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Boston to Boise and back more than 1.5 times.

6. Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney (Qantas): 8,578 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 15 minutes
Flight number: QF 8
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Best business class redemption: 
55k Alaska Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
Best first class redemption: 
70k Alaska Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
You could:

  • Watch all 3 movies in The Godfather trilogy and all 4 movies in the Terminator franchise and still have about minutes to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Salt Lake to Savannah and back more than twice.

7. San Francisco to Singapore (United/Singapore): 8,446 miles

Scheduled flight time: 17 hours, 5 minutes/16 hours, 40 minutes
Flight number: UA 1/SQ 31
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9/Airbus A350-900
Best business class redemption: 
67.5k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
Best first class redemption: 90k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG)
You could:

  • Watch all 5 movies in the Die Hard franchise, plus 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, and The Sixth Sense and still have about an hour to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Las Vegas to Louisville and back twice with about 1,000 miles to spare

8. Johannesburg to Atlanta (Delta): 8,439 miles

Scheduled flight time: 16 hours, 35 minutes
Flight number: DL 201
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200LR
Best business class redemption: 
100k Flying Blue Miles, one-way (transfer from MR, UR, TYP, SPG) or 120k Korean Air Miles, round-trip (transfer from UR, SPG)
Best first class redemption: Not offered
You could:

  • Watch all 4 movies in the Jurassic Park franchise and all 4 movies in the Terminator franchise and still have a few minutes left to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Grand Junction to Grand Rapids and back more than 3 times.

9. Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles (Etihad): 8,390 miles

Scheduled flight time: 16 hours, 30 minutes
Flight number: EY 171
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Best business class redemption: 
60k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)
Best first class redemption: 80k Asiana Miles, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)
You could:

  • Watch all 4 movies in the Scream franchise, then all 5 movies in the Scary Movie franchise, and still have an hour and a half to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Atlanta to Albuquerque and back more than 3 times.

10. Dubai to Los Angeles (Emirates): 8,339 miles

Scheduled Flight Time: 16 hours
Flight number: EK 215
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Best business class redemption: 
65k Japan Airlines Miles, large cash surcharges, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)
Best first class redemption: 105k Japan Airlines Miles, large cash surcharges, one-way (transfer from SPG *codeshare)
You could:

  • Watch the entire Making a Murderer Netflix Series and listen to 8 of the Serial Podcast and still have about 45 minutes to spare.
  • Mileage wise, drive from Detroit to Dallas and back almost 3.5 times.
Movie Franchise Binges vs. The Longest Flights In The World
That’s a lot of movies!

Future Top 10 Contenders

Singapore to New York EWR (Singapore): 9,534 miles

Scheduled flight time: TBD
Aircraft: 
Airbus A350-900ULR

Singapore Airlines recently announced that they will resume both SQ21 and SQ37 flights in 2019. They previously flew this route with their A340-500 aircraft with a scheduled flight time of 18 hours, 50 minutes. It is expected these aircraft will provide premium economy and business class seats exclusively.

Manila to New York JFK (Philippine Airlines): 8,520 miles

Scheduled flight time: 15 hours, 30 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER

Philippine Airlines is set to begin operating this route Oct 28, 2018. The current closest route is a “direct flight” from Manila to Vancouver to New York, with a hefty chunk of time on the ground in Vancouver. The new service will operate 4 times per week (the 7 times per week service from Manila to Vancouver will continue).

Mapping The Flights

Great Circle Mapper - 10 Longest Flights
Here are the 10 longest nonstop flight routes via Great Circle Mapper.

The above flights are listed by the shortest distance between two points on the Earth’s surface, also known as great circle distance. This can vary from the actual distance due to a number of factors including winds, severe weather, and closed airspace avoidance. 

Flights are ranked by distance rather than flight time, as flight time can vary significantly due to a number of different factors. 

Great Circle Distance - Longest Flights In The World
Great circle distance by Great Circle Mapper for the longest flight routes

About the Aircraft

As planes become more fuel efficient and fuel costs remain relatively low, there’s a good chance we’ll continue to see big competition for a spot on the World’s Longest Flights leaderboard.

Boeing and Airbus continue to implement innovative methods of increasing aircraft range and passenger capacity, therefore allowing major airlines to turn a profit from these ultra-long-haul flights.

Boeing 777 Innovation Timeline
Timeline of Boeing’s continued innovation on the 777 aircraft. (Image courtesy of boeing.com)

These aircraft (currently) make up the Top 10 Longest Flights roster:

  • Boeing 777-200LR
  • Boeing 777-300ER
  • Boeing 787-9 (Dreamliner)
  • Airbus A350-900
  • Airbus A380-800

Boeing 777 Series Aircraft

Boeing 777 comparisons
Image courtesy of boeing.com

The Boeing 777 commercial series is made up of three long-range, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliners. Boeing states the 777 aircraft provides a considerably improved reach and increased revenue potential.

“Airlines have only begun to capitalize on demand for point-to point service in intercontinental markers. The 777 has both the range to fly these very long routes nonstop and the revenue payload capacity to earn a healthy profit throughout the year.” – boeing.com

Boeing 777 Series Range
Boeing 777-200LR range (Image courtesy of boeing.com)

Boeing also claims the GE90-115B turbofan engine is the most powerful engine in the world. Operating with these twin engines, either plane can reach a max cruise speed of Mach 0.84 (644.5 mph) under specific conditions.

The Boeing 777 series has won a number of awards for its interior cabin design and passenger satisfaction.

Boeing 777-200LR

Qatar Boeing 777-200LR Plane
Image courtesy of boeing.com.

Range: 9,845 miles/8,555 nautical miles/15,843 km
Capacity: 317 passengers
Engine: 
GE90-115B (turbofan)

The 777-200LR is the aircraft of choice for Qatar and Delta for ultra-long-haul flights including Qatar’s Auckland to Doha route and Delta’s Johannesburg to Atlanta route.

Boeing 777-300ER

Boeing 777-300ER Aircraft
Image courtesy of boeing.com.

Range: 8,481 miles/7,370 nautical miles/13,649 km
Capacity: 396 passengers
Engine: 
GE90-115B (turbofan)

The 777-300ER is Etihad’s aircraft of choice for their Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles route.

Boeing 787 Series Aircraft

Boeing 787 Series Aircraft Comparison
Comparing the 787-8, 787-9, & 787-10 aircraft. (Image courtesy of boeing.com)

Boeing’s 787 series is comprised of 3 midsize, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliners. Combined, the 787 series currently services 170+ non-stop flights worldwide. The 787-9, however, is the only Dreamliner to make it on the world’s longest flights roster.

Boeing 787 Series Benefits
Image courtesy of Boeing.com

Boeing states their 787 series provides a number of advantages over other aircraft including higher distance range, more cargo volume, higher fuel efficiency, lower operating costs, and a more reliable aircraft.

Boeing 787-9 (Dreamliner)

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft
Image courtesy of boeing.com

Range: 8,786 miles/7,635 nautical miles/4,140 km
Capacity: 290 passengers
Engine: GEnx-1B/Trent 1000

The 787-9 is the aircraft of choice for Qantas’ Perth to London route and all 3 of United’s top 10 routes.

Airbus A350 Series Aircraft

Airbus A350 Series Aircraft
Image courtesy of airbus.com.

Here’s what Airbus has to say about their A350 series aircraft:

“Designed with passengers and airlines at heart, the A350 XWB benefits from being built with over 70 percent advanced materials; combining carbon composites (53 percent), titanium and modern aluminium alloys, to create a lighter and more cost-efficient aircraft while also reducing maintenance requirements. The latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines are quieter and more efficient.

The combination of these advantages result in 25 percent lower operating costs, fuel burn, and C02 emissions when compared with previous-generation aircraft – showing Airbus’ commitment to protecting the environment while remaining at the cutting edge of air travel.” – airbus.com

Airbus A350-900

Airbus A350-900 Aircraft
Image courtesy of airbus.com.

Range: 9,320 miles/8,099 nautical miles/15,000 km
Capacity: 325 passengers
Engine: Rolls-Royce Trent XWB

The A350-900 is the aircraft of choice for Singapore Airlines’ San Francisco to Singapore route. Airbus currently has 664-900s on order, delivering 166 of them in April 2018.

Airbus A380 Series Aircraft

Airbus A380 Series Aircraft
Image courtesy of airbus.com.

There’s no denying it: the Airbus A380 has wow factor. It’s the cream of the crop; the plane to see and be seen flying.

This double-deck, wide-body, 4-engine jetliner is the largest commercial aircraft currently in service. The A380’s 2 full-length decks and wide-body width provides about 40 percent more cabin space than the next-largest passenger aircraft, the Boeing 747-8.

Here’s what Airbus has to say about their A380:

“With more seats than any other aircraft, the A380 offers solutions to overcrowding; needing fewer journeys to carry 60 percent more passengers, making it the perfect solution to airport congestion, fleet plan optimization and traffic growth. Protecting our planet and ensuring we will continue to have a world full of beautiful places to visit in the future.

Greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is setting a new standard for the global aviation industry with its superior efficiency, profitability and operational effectiveness.

Not only is it setting new passenger comfort standards, the A380 also is raising the bar for environmental standards with its low fuel consumption and noise levels – as well as reduced CO2 and NOx emissions.”

 

Airbus A380 technology
Image courtesy of airbus.com.

The A380 currently has just one model in service, the A380-800. While there were of an A380-800neo and an A380-900 in the past, the models never materialized (and current reports state they won’t).

Airbus debuted their A380plus at the Paris Air Show in 2017; an enhanced version of the current A380 that’s set to be available in 2020.

Airbus A380-800

Emirates A380 Aircraft & Flight Attendants
Image courtesy of emirates.com.

Range: 9,756 miles/8,478 nautical miles/15,700 km
Capacity: 544 passengers
Engine: 
Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7200

This is the aircraft of choice for Emirates’ Auckland to Dubai and Dubai to Los Angeles routes, as well as Qantas’ Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney route.

Final Thoughts

The competition for top spot on the World’s Longest Flight list won’t be ending any time soon. The only question is, how will the airlines choose to get there?

After almost 50 years in service, this past December marked the final flight of the last U.S. carrier operated Boeing 747. Moving forward, will airlines shy away from these jumbo jets in search of slimmer, more efficient aircraft? Or will planes like the Airbus A380 continue to evolve, providing a more efficient and profitable means of carrying passengers around the world?

From a points perspective, we certainly hope it’s the latter. The optimized business and first class cabins of the more upscale carriers are every miles chaser’s dream.

Rewarding your hard-earned miles with 17 hours in first class on an A380 is unbeatable.

FAQ

What is the longest flight time in the world?

The longest nonstop commercial flight in the world is scheduled at 17 hours and 50 minutes. This route from Los Angeles to Singapore serviced by United Airlines isn't the longest by distance but has the longest duration due to commonly strong headwinds.

What is the longest flight in the world by distance?

The longest flight in the world by distance is QR921. Qatar Airlines' Auckland to Doha route comes in at 14,535 km/9,032 mi/7,848 nm.

What plane can fly the farthest in the world?

The current record for the longest-distance commercial flight is held by a Boeing 777-200LR. This flight from Hong Kong International Airport to London Heathrow took the long way (vs. Great Circle Distance) and was logged at 21,602 km (13,423 mi/11,664 nm).

What is the largest plane in the world?

The largest commercial jet airliner in the world is currently the Airbus A380.

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2 comments

  1. Peter · May 7, 2018 · Reply

    Question about Johannesburg – Atlanta (Delta) Best Biz Class Redemption: 75k Air Canada Miles, One-Way

    Is the author referring to Aeroplan/ Air Canada which is Star Alliance??

    • Michael McHugh · May 7, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Peter

      The article incorrectly stated that you can use Aeroplan for this redemption. The best redemption (I’d recommend using Expert Flyer for award availability) is either 100k Flying Blue miles one-way or 120k Korean Air miles round-trip. The lowest amount of miles I found on Delta was 325k one-way!

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