The airlines have started a battle to be the one with the longest flight in the world. There are the regular players in play – the ones who have had the longest flight in the past, and Air India. Yes, Air India who during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley announced the Bangalore-San Fransisco (BLR-SFO) flight. They later changed it to be Delhi-San Fransisco (DEL-SFO). BLR-SFO at 8,701 mies would have taken the crown for the longest flight in the world, beating out Emirates‘ recently announced Dubai-Panama City (DXB-PTY) at 8,588 miles. DEL-SFO is only 7,706, taking India out of play. Air India switched to Delhi which is hub for all long-haul flights.
The crown for the longest flight in the world was held for the longest time by Singapore Airlines with their Singapore-Newark (SFO-EWR). This flight at 9,534 was the longest non-stop flight ever flown by any airline. This flight is at the edge of the ability of most planes. Singapore Airlines used to fly it using an Airbus A340-500 plane in a Business Class only configuration, and extreme weight limits. The A345 as it was known was a shorter version of the A340 fitted with extra large fuel tanks for long-haul flights. Airbus however stopped making the 4-engine A340s and Singapore Airlines discontinued the flight. The economics of the flight in an all-business class config was always suspect too.
The current longest flight that is actually flying is Qantas’ Sydney to Dallas (SYD-DWF) at 8,578 miles.
Singapore Airlines has come back, shutting up all the other players by announcing that they are bringing SIN-EWR back! Airbus has promised them that the 2-engine highly fuel efficient A350 and fly the distance. With this flight back on the roster, Singapore Airlines is far ahead of Emirates, with SIN-EWR beating DXB-PTY 9,534 to 8,588. Mic drop? Or will Emirates respond with an even longer flight?