How to Master the World’s Longest Direct Flights

By KAYAK Australia

Emirates has set a new benchmark for long-haul flights, with its recent announcement of a direct route between Dubai and Panama which will last an exhausting 17 hours and 35 minutes. The inaugural flight, due to take-off on February 1st, 2016, will out-fly the current longest non-stop flight, which is operated by Qantas Airways from Dallas to Sydney, and lasts just under 17 hours. In light of this sky-high news, we compiled a list of the longest non-stop flights from Europe and Asia Pacific and shared tips on how to master long hours above the clouds.

Flying passengers across the globe to remote locations in the most convenient way possible takes time. The longest flight worldwide is currently operated by Qantas Airways from Dallas to Sydney in 16 hours and 50 minutes, with the reverse journey also being the longest nonstop flight departing Australia, at 15 hours and 35 minutes. Crossing the globe and looking at Europe, the longest non-stop flight departs from France direction Santiago and covers in 14 hours and 40 minutes a distance of around 11680 km.

Long-Haul Flights Departing Europe and Asia Pacific*
Ranking Country of departure Airline Route Distance Flight Time
1 Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Hong Kong (HKG) – New York (JFK) 12980 km 15hrs 50mins
2 Australia Qantas Airways Sydney (SYD) – Dallas (DFW) 13810 km 15hrs 35mins
3 France Air France Paris (CDG) – Santiago (SCL) 11680 km 14hrs 40mins
4 Germany Lufthansa Frankfurt (FRA) – Buenos Aires (EZE) 11510 km 14hrs
5 Italy Alitalia Rome (FCO) – Buenos Aires (EZE) 11160 km 13hrs 55mins
6 United Kingdom British Airways London (LHR) – Buenos Aires (EZE) 11140 km 13hrs 45mins
7 Spain Iberia Madrid (MAD) – Santiago (SCL) 10720 km 13hrs 30mins
8 Singapore Singapore Airlines Singapore (SIN) – London (LHR) 10880 km 13hrs 25mins
9 Russia Aeroflot Moscow (SVO) – Los Angeles (LAX) 9760 km 12hrs 20mins
10 Austria China Airlines Vienna (VIE) – Taipei (TPE) 8980 km 12hrs 10mins
11 Switzerland SWISS Zurich (ZHR) – Singapore (SIN) 10310 km 12hrs 10mins
12 Poland LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw (WAW) – Chicago (ORD) 7520 km 9hrs 40mins

*Longest non-stop flights available in terms of time.

As the demand for international travel grows, direct flights certainly have the advantage of being a convenient way to reach the final destination, but depending on where you go, this can involve spending extended time on the plane. To help travellers survive flights that can last almost a full day, the our travel experts collected a list of helpful tips and hacks to beat the altitude blues.

Study the seating plan: once booked, take some time to look the aircraft’s seating layout. Identify where the sweet spots are in the seating configuration are, such as the rows with extra leg room.


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The top five in-flight essentials:
Staying comfortable on a long-haul flight may start with a comfortable outfit, however, there a number of other things you should have on-hand to ensure your journey is a smooth one:

  • Scarf; from acting as a second blanket, to providing extra padding for a pillow, scarves, pashminas and wraps have endless uses
  • Eye mask; some airlines offer these, however, many do not in economy class. To avoid disappointment, bring your own to block out the light and help get a restful sleep
  • Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones; these are a must on a busy flight, where people are constantly walking the aisles. Downloading white noise or soothing sounds before the flight can also help with relaxation.
  • Empty water bottle; stay hydrated by keeping an empty water bottle on hand, and make an effort to fill this up periodically throughout the flight
  • Socks; along with providing warmth in a cold cabin, comfy socks are far more comfortable to sleep in than shoes

Exercise before you fly: Being physically tired before a flight can help a flight feel like well-earned relaxation rather than restless boredom.

Stretch it out: the adverse effects of sitting still for long periods have been well documented, but a surprising number of people do nothing to combat the issues that can arise for flying long haul. Easy and effective in-seat exercises are generally outlined in in-flight magazines, and are important to do periodically throughout a long-haul flight.

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