Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:40 pm

Does anybody know what the world's longest non-stop flight? Is it ATL-JNB (SAA) 8430mi?
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 01, 2000 5:59 am

I flew SAA ATL-JNB in February of this year. When we landed, the captain said it was the longest non-stop flight in the world.


RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:16 am

What was the inflight service like (meals and movies)? What route did it take? I am thinking about taking this flight soon.
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 01, 2000 7:19 am

I'm not an expert at writing trip reports -- I can barely identify the planes, but I'll see what I can remember.

The flight left ATL in the late morning. I got into ATL by flying in from DCA, so I had a few hours to walk around ATL. I like looking at planes, so I wandered around to some of the gate areas where no planes were scheduled for the next few hours (basically, it was just me in these areas), but provided very good views of planes at the other gates. Many interesting airlines flying to South America.

The SAA plane really stood out. I really like the livery -- nice colours. It was also one of the few 747s in that section of gates, and the only SAA plane.

I was in Y class. I had a window seat on the right-hand side. The plane was probably 50% full by my estimate. The seat next to me (actually, I think this was a 3-4-3, so both seats next to me) were empty. It made sleeping much easier. This flight was 15 hours, and I don't think I could've survived without that extra room to stretch.

The wines were good because they were South African (South Africa has great wine). The rest of the meals were typical British -- somewhat bland, but bearable. I don't remember the exact details, only that the following morning when we landed, the scrambled eggs they provided weren't very tasty, and one passenger tried them, and got up and gave it back to the FA.

JNB (Jan Smuts) is a nice airport. Our plane did not pull up to a jetway, so they disembarked us on stairs and put us in buses to take us to the terminal (I think -- I flew on to HRE, so I might have some of this mixed up between all my flights). JNB was about 75% SAA planes when I was there that morning.

I followed on, on a different SAA flight to HRE (Harare, Zimbabwe). I could've taken Air Zimbabwe, but my travel agent suggested against it for safety concerns. HRE has two terminals (they're about 100m away from one another) -- one for domestic, one for international. I don't recall their being any jetways. When we landed, they just pulled up stairs, and we walked across the tarmac to customs. There was an Air Tanzania plane there at the same time -- nice livery with a giraffe on it.

While I was in Zimbabwe, a BA Concorde stopped by for a day, as part of some program where the Concorde was flying around Africa. This was big news in Harare, and made the front page of the English-language newspaper both days. Also of note is HRE has one of the longest runways in the world.

Return trip was SAA HRE-JNB-ATL-DCA. The JNB-ATL leg is a little longer heading west, so we made a refueling stop in Cape Verde. We deplaned for about an hour, and hung around in the tiny terminal. It was the middle of the night, so we were the only plane there.

Two other items of note. When the HRE-JNB flight took off, the FAs walked up and down the aisle spraying some sort of fumigator. They said it's non-toxic, and is to kill any airborne toxigens that people on the plane might be bringing from Zimbabwe. It had a mild fruity smell.

Going through customs in ATL, I had to go into a special line because I had been on a rural farm in Africa. They opened my luggage and treated the soles of all shoes I had (both the ones I was wearing, and the ones in my luggage) with some sort of liquid disinfectant. They put the shoes in my luggage in plastic bags (since the shoes were now wet), and returned them to my luggage.

Overall, I found SAA to be similar to BA, in terms of service and manner. I've flown BAA many times from IAD-LHR, and then to ATH and WAW from there.

Also, Delta is an SAA partner, and had at the time a double-mileage promotion for flying SAA to JNB from the U.S. (it's a Delta codeshare). I think overall I earned 36,000 miles for my whole trip thanks for this promotion. It might still be active.

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LHR-New Zealand

Sun Oct 01, 2000 3:54 pm

Air New Zealand fly B744's Non-Stop London Heathrow -Aukland. The longest in the world.....

LAX To Sydney

Mon Oct 02, 2000 4:23 am

It's on Qantas and United Airlines from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Coduto

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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Mon Oct 02, 2000 4:32 am

Are you sure? Qantas flight 8, from LAX to SYD, is only 7509 miles.

Air New Zealand flight 1, LHR-Auckland, makes a stop in LAX, so it's not a direct flight.

South African flight 212, ATL-JNB, is 8739 miles non-stop.

I'm getting my mileage counts using


RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Mon Oct 02, 2000 5:35 am

Well, if not, it used to be.
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Sun Oct 08, 2000 12:52 am

Not all LHR-Aukland flights go Via somewhere, most do but not all
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 08, 2000 1:34 am

How about the planned HKG-JFK route next year by United?
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 08, 2000 9:05 am

NWA said that their MSP-HKG flight was the longest...followed by UAL's ORD-HKG. Both will be outdone by UAL's JFK-HKG (which, incidentally will be approximately 2 miles longer than CO's EWR-HKG). This is all according to company press releases and newspaper articles announcing the new services.
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Sun Oct 08, 2000 9:23 am

Sorry guys the longest non-stop flight in the world is ATL-JNB at 8431 miles. Second is the soon to be JFK-HKG i believe. LHR-AKL is not possible, it is over 11,000 miles and no plane can fly that far without stopping.
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Mon Oct 09, 2000 3:38 pm

I flew the flight from San Fransisco directly, non-stop, to Hong Kong. The flight took off from SFO at 3am and landed 14 hours, 13 minutes later in Hong Kong.

The flight was delayed a bit so i got to enjoy the SIA Raffles class even more! I love SIA, it has the best service in a world. The Economy(y) class is almost to compare with business on any other airline (except for the legroom.....?!)

Anybody interested in aviation (obviously you all are, otherwise you wouldn't be at, or if you live in Singapore, please contact me!


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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Thu Oct 12, 2000 8:21 am

It depends on whether you are talking longest mileage or longest duration. There have been topics about this before in the Civil Av. forum. Use the search feature. You'll get your answer there.
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Sun Oct 15, 2000 10:56 pm

I just saw a photo of a 777-200ER MH that flew NONSTOP from SEA to KUL, circled over KUL and then flew back to SEA....12,000 some odd miles, it set a record, there is a special sticker on the front of that plane. Why don't they make commercial flights that long the if it IS possible?
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Mon Oct 16, 2000 1:52 am

TurbineBeaver, the 777-200ER could only have made that flight with little or no passengers. It is possible to fly modern jets much further than they normally do on schedualed routes (eg Air France flew an almost-empty A340 directly from Paris to Tahiti), but you can't make any money with them because the planes can't carry many passengers over such distances
Cheers, fqtvNZ
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Fri Oct 20, 2000 10:20 pm

I believe the longest flight runs from MEL-LAX by Qantas and United. It was confirmed by an article i read anyway ! 
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RE: LHR-New Zealand

Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:57 pm

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RE: LHR-New Zealand

Sun Oct 22, 2000 6:06 am

Airman, MEL-LAX is not the longest distance flight in the world, its only 7930 nautical miles. ATL-JNB is longer.
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 22, 2000 10:40 pm

I think there might be some confusion over the terminology used in deciding which flight is the longest. There is a difference between direct and nonstop.
Direct: JNB to JFK is a direct service, they land in Illa da Sol for refueling, but the flight nr. and aircraft stay the same-hence direct but not nonstop

Nonstop: JFK to JNB-no landing at all.
Hope this helps?
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RE: The 12 Longest Non-Stop Flights

Wed Oct 25, 2000 6:58 pm


Well I was just got this info from you guys... Using the Great circle flight path display. The next ones are the 10 longest non stop flights. (I am not counting the flight time)

1. Atlanta (ATL) - Johannesburg (JNB) 8431 mi.
2. New York (JFK) - Hong Kong (HKG) 8071 mi.
3. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Seattle (SEA) 8069 mi.
4. Newark (EWR) - Hong Kong (HKG) 8065 mi.
5. Melbourne (MEL) - Los Angeles (LAX) 7930 mi.
6. Chicago (ORD) - Hong Kong (HKG) 7793 mi.
7. Minneapolis (MSP) - Hong Kong (HKG) 7501 mi.
8. Sydney (SYD) - Los Angeles 7478 mi.
9. Paris (CDG) - Buenos Aires (EZE) 6848 mi.
10. London Heathrow (LHR) Singapore (SIN) 6755 mi.
11. Auckland (AKL) - Los Angeles (LAX) 6517 mi.
12. Buenos Aires (EZE) - Auckland (AKL) 6459 mi.

My longest flight: IB 747 Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Madrid Barajas (MAD) 6224 mi.

It would be nice if someone would post any info on which airline and what aircraft type are flying (or will fly) this routes.

Hope it helps...
(Distance in kilometers down)

Mexico City


Bueno, recopilé esta información de ustedes mismos, utilizando el trazo de rutas en un sitio. Los siguientes son los 10 vuelos de mayor recorrido. (No estoy contando la duración en tiempo)

1. Atlanta (ATL) - Johanesburgo (JNB) 13,568 kms.
2. Nueva York (JFK) - Hong Kong (HKG) 12,990 kms.
3. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Seattle (SEA) 12,986 kms.
4. Newark (EWR) - Hong Kong (HKG) 12,979 kms.
5. Melbourne (MEL) - Los Ángeles (LAX) 12,762 kms.
6. Chicago (ORD) - Hong Kong (HKG) 12,542 kms.
7. Mineápolis (MSP) - Hong Kong (HKG) 12,073 kms.
8. Sidney (SYD) - Los Ángeles 12,036 kms.
9. París (CDG) - Buenos Aires (EZE) 11,021 kms.
10 Londres Heathrow (LHR) - Singapur (SIN) 10,872 kms.
11. Auckland (AKL) - Los Ángeles (LAX) 10,488 kms.
12. Buenos Aires (EZE) - Auckland (AKL) 10,395 kms.

El vuelo de mayor distancia que he hecho: Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) - Madrid Barajas (MAD) 10,016 kms.

Estaría muy bien si alguien pudiera poner alguna información en qué líneas aéreas y qué tipo de avión están (o estarán) volando las rutas anteriores.

Espero les ayude...
(Distancias en millas, arriba)

Ciudad de México
Yo soy yo más mis circunstancias - J. Ortega y Gasset
Airbus A3XX
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Wed Oct 25, 2000 10:34 pm

I don't think there are any airline flying MSP-HKG non-stop!
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Thu Oct 26, 2000 3:41 am

Well, I don't know if you guys talking about flights in service but I know that Boeing flew a B747SP from Seattle (SEA) to Cape Town (CPT) in South Africa in 1976 when they delivered one of the aircraft to SAA.
That is flight on 10210 nm! (16428 km).
Anyone else who had heard more about this?

Best Regards, Simon Larsson
You know the gear is up when it takes full power to taxi
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RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Fri Oct 27, 2000 12:32 pm

SEA-CPT is impossible. The flight is 8853nm. Maybe the 747X and 777-200LR can make the flight, but then again, maybe not.

Here is a flight that we need that we don't have:
DFW-SYD, and/or IAH-SYD. A 777-200ER has enough range to make these 2 flights nonstop. DFW-SYD is 7449nm, and IAH-SYD is 7467nm. This is a perfect opportunity for AA and CO.



I don't know if IAH/DFW-SYD would be profitable alone, so a feeder flight from NYC would be a great idea.
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RE: The 12 Longest Non-Stop Flights

Fri Oct 27, 2000 7:15 pm

The flight actually happened. It was the delivery flight of an SAA 747SP, it was loaded with fuel and only had the flight crew and reserve crew aboard. It's listed in the Guiness Book of World Records. The reason that SAA ordered the 747SP was because most if not all African nations refused to let SAA fly through their airspace because this was during apartied(?), and they needed a plane with the range to fly to London without flying over Africa.

RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sat Oct 28, 2000 6:24 am

the longest nonstop is ord - hkg timewise

RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sat Oct 28, 2000 7:18 pm

Qantas did one of those mega long distance delivery flights with a 747-400 which was flown from London to Sydney non-stop. The flight required favorable winds and had around thirty people on board including crew.
However the Air France flight with an A340 from Paris to Tahiti was longer.
Qantas is considering a Sydney - Dallas link with their new aircraft (777-238LR or A340-500) and also Perth London.

RE: Longest Non-Stop Flight

Sun Oct 29, 2000 4:40 am

Listen you guys, the longest non-stop flight in the world is from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia. It is a 17 hour flight. Qantas operates these flights.

RE: The 12 Longest Non-Stop Flights

Wed Nov 01, 2000 11:51 am

ORD - HKG per the 10/00 United Timetable:

UA 895 747-400 Flight time 15:55
UA 896 747-400 Flight time 14:25

An interesting side note - according to a Chicago Tribune article in late 1996, UA will only sell about 250 seats on UA 895 due to the distance and fuel needed. My guess is that they use the 747-400 OP found in the timetable (config 36F, 123C, 142Y).
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RE: The 12 Longest Non-Stop Flights

Thu Nov 02, 2000 11:29 am

Northwest used to have Flight #97 that was EWR-MSP-HKG every other day. It was on a 747-400 aircraft and had restricted loads on the MSP-HKG sector because the rumway at MSP was on 11,000 feet long. I flew HKG-MSP and it was about 14 hours about 4 years ago. They discountinued the flight because the landing fees at CLK were too expensive and the asian economic crisis. This flight had a full load when I was on it.
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RE: The 12 Longest Non-Stop Flights

Fri Nov 03, 2000 1:21 am

Wouldn't JFK-JNB be longer than ATL-JNB, both flown by SAA. They make a stopeover on the way back, but going to Africa, both are non-stop. so which is longer?

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