a white airplane in the sky

You may want to close your eyes. Though there are a few good options left in economy, seats for the most part are getting smaller. And unfortunately for many – flights are not getting any shorter. Advanced, fuel efficient open up new possibilities, allowing airlines to target more direct, point to point flights. That means longer flights. This year, at least two new flights will rock the world’s longest list.

a city skyline with tall buildings and a body of waterQatar Airways presently operate the longest flight in the world between Doha, Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand. The flight can last up to a shocking 18 hours 20 minutes and unless Singapore re-launch New York to Singapore service, it will retain the longest flight in the world record. But come March, a new flight record will be broken. Qantas will offer the worlds first ever regularly scheduled non stop flight between Europe and Australia. The flight, spanning 9,008 miles will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. So – what will the new list look like?

10. Emirates – Dubai to Los Angeles – Airbus A380 – 8,321 miles. 

9. Etihad – Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles – Boeing 777-200LR – 8,372 miles. 

8. Delta – Johannesburg to Atlanta – Boeing 777-200LR – 8,439 miles. 

7. Singapore/United – San Francisco to Singapore – A350-9 /787-9 – 8,446 miles.

6. Qantas – Dallas to Sydney – Airbus A380 – 8,574 miles. 

a sign on a hill with a city in the background5. United – Houston to Sydney – Boeing 787-900 – 8,596 miles. 

4. United – Los Angeles To Singapore- Boeing 787-900 – 8,770 miles. 

3. Emirates – Auckland to Dubai – Airbus A380 – 8,818 miles. 

2. Qantas – London to Perth (Beginning in March) – Boeing 787-900 – 9,008 miles. 

1. Qatar – Auckland to Doha – Boeing 777-200LR – 9,025 miles. 

There’s never been a more important time to look at upgrade options, or tips to survive economy like a professional traveler. The next few years will prove to be a fascinating time in air travel, as ultra light composite aircraft and fuel efficient engines combine to unlock new distances.

What route would you like to see launched?



Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Feel free to double check the official model designation used by Boeing for its 787 at its own web site, but there’s no such model with the designation “787-900”.

    Instead, the official designations for the three production models are as follows:

    1.) 787-8, which is the smallest and baseline model; it was also the first of the three models to enter revenue service;

    2.) 787-9, which is the intermediate sized model, or the first “stretched” version that is an higher capacity AND can fly even farther than the smaller “-8”. Thus far, this model is the best selling version used by many airlines around the world;

    3.) 787-10, which is currently undergoing testing for airworthiness/safety certification, and NOT yet in service. This version is a “double stretch” of the “-8”, and is the largest capacity of the three 787 models. However, the trade-off for capacity comes at the expense of range, as this version has a maximum range of approximately 6,400 nautical miles (nm) nearly 1,000 nm less than the smallest model, the 787-8 (~7,335 nm) and approximately 1,300 nm less than the intermediate capacity 787-9 (~7,635 nm) the model QANTAS is using for the Perth-London/Heathrow sector, or United uses for its LAX-Singapore and Houston/Intercontinental-Auckland routes.

    While nearly all past, and some current, Boeing passenger models used triple digit “dash” designations to reflect size, or even airline customers, for example, 737-100, 737-200, 737-300, 737-400, 737-500, 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, 737-900/900ER; 777-200, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER; or 747-100, 747-200, 747-300, 747-400…

    Many current updated models have adopted the single digit (or “dash/-8, -9”) or double digit (-10) sub model designations introduced with the 787 and the 747-8. For example, the next generation 777 will be the 777-8 which will likely be prominently seen on this top ten list of longest flights ten years from now as it, and Airbus’s A350-900ULR, will offer the longest range available. The larger capacity update of the 777 will carry the designation 777-9, and will also fly many long haul trunk routes now flown by the 777-300ER.

    Lastly, Boeing’s (hopefully) last and final derivatives of its 1950s/early 1960’s designed and engineered 737 series, will also shed the triple digit sub-model designation noted above in favor or the -7, -8, -9 and -10 versions with the “dash 7” being the smallest, the -8 roughly equivalent to the current -800, the -9 roughly equivalent to the current -900, and the -10 an attempt to compete with Airbus’s hot selling A321neo.

    The 737MAX series will also offer a special high capacity, 200 passenger model based on the -8, which is targeted to low cost carriers such as Ryanair, which is the launch carrier for this version.

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