This Is the Shortest Commercial Flight in the World

It's shorter than you think.

There’s a lot that goes into planning your next adventure, including selecting your destination, choosing an airline, and knowing which carry on luggage essentials to pack. Sometimes, you go to the airport because you have to go to a family event or on a business trip. Other times, you hop on a flight for a long-awaited vacation and hope it’s as painless as possible. Before you go, make sure you know the little etiquette rules for flying on an airplane.

A lifeline to communities

It might be a relief to know that the shortest commercial flight is a lot shorter than you may think. Tucked away in the Northern Isles of Scotland, Scottish regional airline Loganair operates the 2.7-kilometre flight between islands Westray and Papa Westray. While the flight is scheduled for 90 seconds, typically it runs closer to 60 seconds. The record time for the flight between the Orkney islands was 47 seconds. The flight has been around for a long time—since 1967. Even though the flight may be short, it’s essential to the people who live in Orkney.

“These are quite literally lifeline services for communities in the Outer North Isles,” says David Hartley, Communications Team Leader, Chief Executive’s Service, Orkney Islands Council. “The eight-seat aircraft that operate between Kirkwall and the isles carry teachers and school pupils, visiting health staff, tourists, and island residents traveling to and from Mainland Orkney for a range of appointments.” No matter the length of your next flight, here are a few facts about flying that will help you remain calm.

Along with being essential for locals, it’s popular with tourists and travellers alike. In 2016, the shortest commercial flight in the world celebrated its millionth flier, Anne Rendall, and Loganair gave her a bouquet of flowers to celebrate. At that time, Rendall had taken more than 10,000 trips on that Loganair flight. This may be the shortest commercial flight in the world, but prices still vary. It’s recommended to check for the most up-to-date fares. Loganair not only flies within Scotland but has multiple international destinations, including Bergen in Norway and Dusseldorf in Germany. Need more inspiration to book your flight? Here are 10 unforgettable things to do in Scotland.

Other interesting flights

If you’re looking for the shortest commercial flight on this side of the pond, you’re in luck. With a flight time of 16 minutes, United, via SkyWest, allows passengers to fly from California’s capital San Francisco to Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. The Telegraph reports that the 100-kilometre route along wine country lasts about 45 minutes. No matter how long your flight, these are the things you shouldn’t wear on a flight, according to flight attendants.

For the thrillseekers on the opposite end of the travel spectrum, the longest non-stop airplane flight in the world is from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Sydney, Australia for a total of 19 hours and 16 minutes in the air. The October 2019 flight on Australian airline Qantas became the first non-stop flight to travel more than 16,000 kilometres (10,000 miles). Next, check out nine great reasons you should still visit Australia.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest