- Six airlines deploy their widebody aircraft on the world’s longest commercial routes, with twinjets dominating the list.
- The Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 787-9 each appear four times on the top 10 longest routes, showcasing their long-haul capabilities.
- The Boeing 777-200LR may not feature on this list for long due to the introduction of newer aircraft models.
We have long spoken about the longest air routes here on Simple Flying. Thus, we thought we’d take a closer look into the vessels that conduct these ambitious operations.
The top 10
Six airlines shared the 10 longest commercial routes in the world last month. Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Air India, and Philippine Airlines deploy their widebodies on the longest distances.
From North America to Asia, the aircraft longest routes in July are broken down in the following image, as reported by OAG.
Looking at the above list, it’s clear to see that twinjets dominate. Let’s dive deeper into these aircraft’s operations.
A favorite among international airlines, it’s not a surprise to see the A350 form nearly half of the top 10 longest routes. As OAG notes:
“In July 2023, four out of ten of the longest routes operate on the wide-bodied, twin-engine Airbus A350-900: JFK-SIN, EWR-SIN, LAX-SIN and JFK-MNL. Since its entry into service in 2015, the global A350 fleet has completed more than 1,025,000 flights on more than 1000 routes.”
The 787-9 is tied with the A350-900 with four appearances on this list. The Dreamliner rivals the XWB when it comes to performing its role of being the modern flagship in long-haul fleets across the globe. Over 70 carriers reply on the aircraft. Its largest customer is All Nippon Airways (ANA) which holds 40 units.
Photo: Steve Worner/Shutterstock.
The final twinjet on the list is the 777-200LR. The trusted Boeing workhorse performed its first flight in March 2005 and was set to be a force to be reckoned with on long-distance missions after it was introduced in 2006.
With a range of up to 15,840 km (8,553 NM), transoceanic adventures shouldn’t be a problem for the widebody. Yet, the plane’s large fuel tanks added a lot of weight, meaning it wasn’t as effective as its counterparts. As a result, only 61 examples were produced.
Photo: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock
Altogether, the 777-200LR may not be a feature in these sorts of lists for too long. After all, Air India’s substantial 470 aircraft order includes new A350-900, A350-1000, 787, and 777X aircraft.
An absolute behemoth in the skies, the A380 remains a phenomenon in the industry. Its fate looked sealed amid its long-term grounding following the rise of the pandemic. However, the superjumbo has since made an impressive comeback throughout the market. With 119 units in its holding, it’s only natural that Emirates showcases the only A380 route on this list.
It wasn’t too long ago that quadjets such as the A380 would perform on most of the longest routes. Notably, the 747 was a staple on intercontinental flights for decades. Sadly, the Queen of the Skies is largely becoming a thing of the past in the passenger realm.
We can expect twinjets to continue their dominance in this next chapter. Project Sunrise will entrust an A350-1000 between New York and Sydney. Slated for a 2025 inauguration, this 16,020 km (3,250 NM) Qantas operation will break the record for the longest nonstop flight.
What are your thoughts about these long-haul beasts? What do you make of their abilities? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and their capabilities in the comment section.