These Are the 15 Longest Flights in the World. How Many Do You Know?

Singapore Airlines used to operate the two longest flights in the world — Newark to Singapore non-stop (9534 miles) followed by Los Angeles to Singapore (8770 miles). Both of these were flown with Airbus A340-500 flying gas cans.

    Note. Singapore Airlines business class aboard 777-300 not Airbus A340

Thai Airways briefly operated the third longest flight, New York JFK to Bangkok at 8677 miles, and for a longer period operated Los Angeles – Bangkok non-stop (at just 8270 miles). Eventually they too decided to stem the losses incurred by burning so much fuel just to be able to carry enough fuel to make the trip.

I came up with the following flights that are currently scheduled to operate (meaning, it includes flights like Dubai – Panama City that have not yet commenced service) and are over 8000 miles.

How many did you know about?

  1. Emirates, Dubai – Panama City, 8588 miles (starts February 1, 2016)

  2. Qantas, Sydney – Dallas, 8578 miles

  3. Delta, Atlanta – Johannesburg, 8439 miles

  4. Etihad, Abu Dhabi – Los Angeles, 8390 miles

  5. Emirates, Dubai – Los Angeles, 8339 miles

  6. Saudia, Jeddah – Los Angeles, 8332 miles

  7. Emirates, Dubai – Houston, 8168 miles

  8. Etihad, Abu Dhabi – San Francisco, 8158 miles

      This flight is operated by Jet Airways aircraft, so it’s less than affectionately referred to as operated by “Jetihad”

  9. American, Dallas – Hong Kong, 8123 miles

    American’s new 777-300ER business class flies to Hong Kong

  10. Emirates, Dubai – San Francisco, 8103 miles

  11. Cathay Pacific, New York JFK – Hong Kong, 8072 miles

  12. Etihad, Abu Dhabi – Dallas, 8071 miles

  13. United and Cathay Pacific, Newark – Hong Kong, 8065 miles

  14. Qatar, Doha – Houston, 8047 miles

      I’ll actually fly Qatar for the first time next month.

  15. Emirates, Dubai – Dallas, 8040 miles

How many of these did you know? How many have you flown?

The list actually brings home to me that I’ve flown very few ‘ultra-long haul’ segments. I’ve flown many many long flights that don’t make this list, like New York and Washington Dulles to Abu Dhabi, and Chicago and Toronto to Hong Kong… as well as many long connecting ‘direct’ flights like San Francisco – Hong Kong – Singapore. But I’ve only flown Los Angeles – Abu Dhabi, Dubai – Dallas, and New York JFK – Hong Kong, and I have Houston – Dubai and Dallas – Sydney booked. That’s just five out of fifteen.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I did ATL-JNB a few years ago. I will probably do NYC-HKG this year so that makes two of them. I will try Emirates next year.

  2. I’ did DFW-HKG in AA 1st in Oct 2015 RTW. I will do JFK-HKG on Cathay next July for my B-Day RTW. I’m at a disadvantage living in DC to take the West Coast flights to the ME, but the Etihad IAD-AUH 787-9 1st class is the best no-shower long distance plane ride – Love the large windows. 777 Flights in Cathay or Japan Air Lines are the best for me so far. LH in seat 1K IAD-FRA is best 747-8i


  3. Flew DFW-SYD in First in October. Couldn’t believe a nearly 17 hour flight could feel so short! Had a fantastic FA working my aisle, which definitely helped.

  4. Done the JNB-ATL flight also. Another long one that must be just outside the top 15 is JFK-JNB on South African Airlines which I took on the way to Aftica that year.

  5. Did the DFW-HKG on AA earlier this year. First going and mini cabin business coming back. Great service from AA on this flight. Not a huge difference between the cabins but as a tall person I couldn’t do it in economy.

  6. Fortunate to have not had to be on any of those. ORD-AUH, ORD-HKG, LAX-SYD are the longest I’ve been on so far. That’s plenty long enough. Only one I’d be interested in, really, is DFW-SYD.

  7. It’s certainly interesting that 10 of the 15 longest flights in the world are flown by non-commercial (heavily subsidized) Middle East airlines. Ultra-long haul flying is notoriously unprofitable, and really only makes sense in unusual circumstances — polar from big USA cities to big Asian cities, and a handful of flights to remote Australia. I suppose the very efficient 787 will increase the number of such flights over time (the plane was designed for long-thin routes), but it’s always going to be a niche — at least if the intention of the route is to make money.

  8. It would be (more) interesting if you listed these flights with their flying times and not just the distance. I think the point of reference for most of us for what is considered a “long” flight is time and not distance. Even though one equates with the other.

  9. I just booked SFO – DEL (San Francisco to New Delhi) non stop which is 17.5 hours and is longer than the Houston – Doha one that I’ve done. Is it too new for your list or did it get missed?

  10. DEL-SFO is 7,706nm on a great circle route and that’s probably why it did not show up in this list ranked by great circle distance. However, the flight path for AI 173 avoids the Himalayan range and at 17hours+ is most likely the longest flight currently in service.

  11. Was blessed to fly Qatar to IAH way back in 2009 on brand new 77L during their inaugral month .
    A special note that they used to offer their own PRIVILEGE CLUB members way more bonus miles in Coach, equal to what they are offering today in Business during the promotion period.
    Qatar also had frequent flyer agreement with Lufthansa and United — good old days.

    Was my first longhaul flying along with family , >16 hours nonstop , pax were few overall , each of us had a complete row to liedown in coach, 3-3-3 cabin layout. Service was exceptional , food and drinks unlimited . Couldn’t have asked for anything more.

  12. I would like to add any flight on UA or UA Express domestic. If it isn’t delayed it will just feel like a long flight as they suck so much… (written while waiting for an already 2 hour delayed flight CLT – ORD).

  13. I did SFO-DXB and DXB-SFO a few years ago – it was so horrid that I may not fly EK ever again. EK lied about having lie-flat seats (actually angled at that time), the food was too spicy and plenty of screaming babies. To top it off the vaunted “free car service” missed 2 of 4 pickups. The only plus was the frequent refills of Dom on my connecting flight.

    Contrast to SFO-HKG – would not hesitate to do that one again on either SQ or Cathay, which offer business class products that blow away the others.

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