The 10 Longest Flights in the World

From New York to Singapore, and Auckland to Doha, these are the longest flight routes in the world this year.

Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

The past year has been like no other for the airline industry. Flight frequencies were down around 50% from 2019, and passenger traffic cratered by two-thirds, according to travel analytics firm, Cirium. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, airlines operated some truly extraordinary routes. Lufthansa repatriated German citizens from New Zealand, Austrian Airlines flew nonstop from Sydney to Vienna, and in March, Air Tahiti Nui operated the longest nonstop commercial flight ever: 9,765 miles from Papeete, Tahiti, to Paris. Fun fact: That voyage also broke the record for longest nonstop domestic flight, since French Polynesia is technically part of France.

Aside from unique airlifts operated to repatriate citizens stranded abroad, or one-off scientific missions, airlines slashed their schedules and mothballed most of their long-haul fleets. Now, however, some of those planes are returning to service and we're seeing carriers restart some of their longest routes, as well as launching exciting new services. For instance, Singapore Airlines maintains the top spot for its nonstops from Singapore Changi Airport to New York City, but switched its operation from Newark Liberty International Airport to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport in November.

Here is the current list of the top 10 longest flights in the world that are — or soon will be — operating. They are ordered according to distance, since this metric remains constant, as opposed to flight timing, which can vary according to season, weather, and airport conditions at different times of year. Some of these routes have yet to debut or restart, and those have been noted with a planned launch date. Just remember that these are subject to change at any time given rapidly evolving developments in international travel surrounding COVID-19. Which ones have you already been on, and which are you planning to take once you begin traveling again?

1. New York City (JFK) – Singapore (SIN)

Airline: Singapore Airlines

Distance: 9,537 miles

Flight Time: 18 hours, 40 minutes

2. Auckland (AKL) – Doha (DOH)

Airline: Qatar Airways

Distance: 9,032 miles

Flight Time: 18 hours, 5 minutes

This route is scheduled to resume in November 2021.

3. Perth (PER) – London (LHR)

Airline: Qantas

Distance: 9,010 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 15 minutes

This route is scheduled to return to the network in July, though this will depend on border and travel restrictions.

4. Auckland (AKL) – Dubai (DXB)

Airline: Emirates

Distance: 8,824 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 5 minutes

This route is scheduled to relaunch in March.

5. Los Angeles (LAX) – Singapore (SIN)

Airline: Singapore Airlines

Distance: 8,770 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 50 minutes

6. San Francisco (SFO) – Bangalore (BLR)

Airline: United Airlines

Distance: 8,701 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 25 minutes

This new route is scheduled to launch at the end of May.

7. Houston (IAH) – Sydney (SYD)

Airline: United Airlines

Distance: 8,596 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 45 minutes

This route is scheduled to be bookable beginning in April, but only on a very limited basis due to border controls and regulations.

8. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)

Airline: Qantas

Distance: 8,578 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours, 15 minutes

This route is scheduled to be bookable again beginning in July, though that may change.

9. New York (JFK) – Manila (MNL)

Airline: Philippine Airlines

Distance: 8,520 miles

Flight Time: 16 hours, 55 minutes

10. San Francisco (SFO) – Singapore (SIN)

Airline: Singapore Airlines and United Airlines

Distance: 8,446 miles

Flight Time: 17 hours; 17 hours, 35 minutes (depending on the airline)

Singapore Airlines is currently operating flights, while United Airlines is scheduled to resume in April.

Bonus: Atlanta (ATL) – Johannesburg (JNB)

Airline: Delta Air Lines

Distance: 8,439 miles

Flight Time: 15 hours

This route is scheduled to relaunch in June. We're including it, since it may rejoin the airline's flight network sooner than some of the other routes listed above. It'll also include a Cape Town tag flight, if you want to continue on, or return via Johannesburg.

One note of caution: Before booking tickets on any of these routes, check the schedule frequently to ensure that the flights are still operating. It's also worth becoming familiar with the change, cancellation, and refund policies of any airline you buy tickets with, so you can get your money (or miles, if redeeming an award ticket) back in case your flight is canceled or you need to alter your plans.

Eric Rosen is a Travel + Leisure contributor based in Los Angeles, and the host of the Conscious Traveler podcast. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter.

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