The 10 Longest Flights – late 2018 Edition

Perhaps this is more #avgeek than anything, but I’m always curious about interesting flights and “lines” (one of the basis of the Dots, Lines, and Destinations podcast). Perhaps the most common group of interesting “lines” is the 10 longest flights. Over the past few years, these have changed a bunch! I wrote about Emirates taking over the longest flight in 2015 flying from Dubai to Panama City, Panama. Even though that still hasn’t taken fruition, despite the occasional revisit. The fact remains, airlines see the longest flight as a badge of honor.

Singapore Airlines SQ 22 / 21 tops the list for the 10 longest flights

I had written some years ago that Airbus’ A350-900ULR made the previous world’s longest flight once again possible; previously it was operated by an A340-500, and now Singapore has returned to take the throne of the longest flight! That flight started (or restarted) on 11 October, and none-other-than JT Genter of The Points Guy was on it! 

The folks at GCMap even showed both SQ22’s route, and SQ21’s route. 

10 Longest Flights, SQ21, SQ22, GCMap

Number 2: Qatar’s Doha to Auckland, New Zealand

Qatar Airways launched their attempt at the longest commercial flight in 2017, in the brief period where Singapore didn’t operate their flight from Singapore to Newark, NJ. Travel Update has a great flight reportI’ve flown the same style seat as is on the 777-200LR, though my experience was on a 777-300ER. That flight is just over 500 miles shorter than Singapore’s flight, at 9,032 nautical miles:

10 longest flights, Qatar, QR, DOH-AKL

Number 3: Qantas’ Perth to London

Our friend JT Genter also flew the now 3rd longest flight, Qantas’ Perth to London flight, operated by a Boeing 787-9. 

10 longest flights, QF, Qantas, PER-LHR

Of note, this Qantas 787-9 has similar business class seats to those found on their Airbus A330, which I found to be very comfortable.

Number 4: Emirates Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand

Just in case you’re starting to get the feeling like New Zealand is kind’ve far… It actually pretty much is, at least from “middle earth.” Emirates operates the 4th largest flight, which also marks the first time an A380-800 enters the 10 longest flights list. I’ve written a bunch about flying in Emirates A380 First Class, and finally experienced Business Class on the A380. 

10 longest flights

Number 5: United Airlines Los Angeles to Singapore

Somehow, United beat Singapore at relaunching the LAX to Singapore flight. Note that Singapore had previously announced that they would be relaunching the LAX-SIN flight. If I were you, I’d wait for the Singapore Airlines operated flight, before flying this route, United’s 2-2-2 configuration is a bit, 2000’s.

10 longest flights - LAX-SIN

Number 6: United Airlines Houston to Sydney

I have to be honest, this wasn’t even a flight that was on my radar! I’m not sure I’d want to fly on United’s 787-9 with their 2-2-2 configuration business class, but it is certainly an option if you’re looking to go to Sydney, and I’d imagine not a lot of folks are thinking of this particular route.

10 longest flights

Number 7: Qantas Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney

This is one I’m particularly excited about! I have only flown on the Qantas A380 on the old Kangaroo route from Singapore to London. My wife and I will actually be flying on this particular route later this year, as we do what will be our third or fourth annual visit to Australia. We’re also starting to get into super close distances, as you’ll notice in the below graphic:

10 longest flights

Number 8: Singapore Airlines and United Airlines San Francisco to Singapore

This route has an interesting history. United somehow beat Singapore in starting their San Francisco to Singapore route. That said, if I had the choice, I’d probably be leaning toward the Singapore bird, because the United bird is, shall we say, a decade behind on the business class passenger experience. Just look at the seat map!

United 787-9 Seatmap via SeatGuru

United 787-9 Seatmap via SeatGuru

That said, the flight is rather similar to the one from Los Angeles, though a bit shorter:

Number 9: Delta Airlines Atlanta to Johannesburg 

This is probably #1 on my list from a cool factor. You’ll notice that nearly every super-long haul is going to Asia or Oceania. Oceania makes sense, its super far. But, don’t forget, South Africa is pretty far too! Delta’s Atlanta to Johannesburg is definitely one that I’d love to fly some day (ok, who am I kidding, I’d love to fly a bunch of these long hauls).

10 longest flights

Number 10: Etihad Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

Pretty much anywhere from the Middle East to Los Angeles is pretty far, and all in the same group. Abu Dhabi just happens to be the furthest. Ironically, I’d offer that Doha, Qatar to Los Angeles is actually longer, given the QatarBlockade requires them to fly a non-standard routing. But here’s Etihad’s gcmap:

Bonus: Middle East to Los Angeles

All of the “Big” Middle East Airlines fly to Los Angeles. Even Saudia, makes that super long haul. As I mentioned above, I’d imagine the actual flight time is longest for Doha, considering the current issues that Qatar is facing. I know some have flown these super long haul flights, but I’m not sure that I’d say any of these are on my list.

10 longest flights


If you’re an #Avgeek, then its a pretty good guess that some or many or even all of these super long haul flights are on your list. I find it very interesting that a most are operated by 2 engine aircraft – a feat that 10 or 20 years ago would have been unfathomable. 

So which of these super long hauls are on your aspirational list to fly?

7 thoughts on “The 10 Longest Flights – late 2018 Edition

  1. I really do love that you’re excited about number 7, but isn’t Qantas famous for not releasing premium award space? If so, why be excited about a flight you can’t take except for a gazillion dollars?

  2. Pingback: Episode 93 – AvGeek Week – Saverocity Observation Deck

    • William,
      After this year’s second event didn’t sell out, I’ve stepped back from the conference style events. I’m planning to do 1-2 events for Mile High Reselling Club members, but not sure I’ll do a generally open one, as demand did not seem too high over the summer for one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.