If you board a domestic flight in Asia-Pacific, you might end up flying for more hours than you bargained. Some countries in the region wrap around the globe, facilitating domestic routes well over 2,000 miles. What are the longest domestic routes in the region, and how do they operate?
What is a long domestic route?
When we think of a domestic route, we usually think of a flight within one country, such as New York to Los Angeles. Passengers onboard don’t need to clear customs or immigration, and in some cases, you don’t need a passport for the flight.
The distance between New York and Los Angeles by plane is 2,131 nautical miles, but its one of the most extended trips you can do on the continental United States (outside of the mainland, there are flights to Hawaii, Alaska, and territories that rack up the miles).
However, South East Asia has much smaller countries than those found in North America. Apart from China and Australia, few countries have flights over 2,000 miles – let alone the country itself having over 2,000 miles of land!
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As mentioned above, some of the longest domestic routes in Asia-Pacific are those operating in China and Australia.
China’s longest domestic flight is from Harbin in the countries far North-East to Sanya on Hainan island. Hainan Airlines operates the 1876.89 nautical miles (3,476 km) route with Airbus A330-300s.
Then in Australia, we have Perth (west coast) to Gold Coast (east coast) at 1,962 nautical miles (3633 km). This flight travels over the red interior of the continent, and a variety of different airlines operate the route.
However, despite being the region’s biggest countries, neither offer the longest domestic route.
What is Asia-Pacific’s longest route?
According to OAG’s 2019 ‘Busiest Routes’ report, the longest domestic route in South-East Asia is Indonesia, from Jakarta to Jayapura along the entire country archipelago. This flight has a route of over 2,036 nautical miles (3077 km). While not as far the longest route in the USA, or some routes found in Russia, it is still awe-inspiring.
The route takes around five and a half hours, with one operator seemingly taking well over seven to perform the same route. It is unknown why this is the case, but at half the price of the competition, you can believe they have some takers.
The other airlines operate the route with narrowbody aircraft like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Alas, this route has been hit hard in recent months with the current aviation crisis. With a lack of tourism and inter-island lockdown in Indonesia, cross-country travel has restricted until local authorities allow regular movement in one of the world’s most densely populated regions.
What do you think of this flight? Would you fly on it? Let us know in the comments.