Turboprops play a vital role in aviation yet they’re often misunderstood and underappreciated. This month, over a quarter of a million non-stop flights are due to be flown by them with more than 12 million seats.
More exciting still are the extreme uses of turboprops. These include unusually long flights, often involving exotic or otherwise less discussed countries, such as in Africa and the Pacific. What are the world’s longest non-stop routes this month?
The world’s longest bookable prop routes
Air Tahiti’s 1,028-mile service from Tahiti (Papeete) to Totegegie, both in French Polynesia, is the world’s longest non-stop bookable turboprop route this month. It uses 68-seat ATR-72-600s in an all-economy layout, and it has an outbound block time of three hours and 45 minutes and four hours on the way back.
Other long routes of 800 miles or more include:
- Yakutsk to Chersky: 1,005 miles; Yakutia; Dash-8-300
- Luxembourg-Bucharest: 998 miles; Luxair; Dash-8-Q400
- Maputo-Nacala: 947 miles; LAM Mozambique; Dash-8-Q400
- Dar Es Salaam-Harare: 936 miles; Air Tanzania; Dash-8-Q400
- Lusaka-Dar Es Salaam: 932 miles; Air Tanzania; Dash-8-Q400
- Nairobi-Galcaio: 915 miles; Freedom Airline Express; Embraer 120
- Luxembourg-Tunis: 904 miles; Luxair; Dash-8-Q400
- Bengaluru-Gwalior: 901 miles; SpiceJet; Dash-8-Q400
- Reykjavik Airport-Nuuk: 892 miles; Dash-8-200
- Tahiti (Papeete)-Hiva Oa: 891 miles; Air Tahiti; ATR-72-600
- Gran Canaria-Melilla: 890 miles: Iberia (by Air Nostrum): ATR-72-600
- Tahiti (Papeete)-Nuku Hiva: 873 miles; Air Tahiti; ATR-72-600
- Sanikiluaq-Winnipeg: 872 miles; Calm Air; ATR-42
- Reykjavik Airport-Ilulissat: 864 miles; Dash-8-200
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24 Luxair Q400 routes over 500 miles
Luxair stands out for long turboprop routes, with all operated by 76-seat Dash-8-Q400s. It has five 800-mile-plus routes from Luxembourg: Bucharest; Tunis; Brindisi; Stockholm Arlanda; and (at 802 miles) Brindisi.
Its longest route, at just shy of 1,000 miles, is to the Romanian capital. This normally operates three-weekly, with a three-hour and 10 minute block time out and five minutes slower back. The route began in December, initially using 141-seat B737-700s before reverting to the Dash-8.
Long and thin for Luxair
Luxair’s long Q400 routes are many used on thin leisure routes, such as Biarritz, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Tivat, and Zadar, together with a few focused on visiting friends and relatives (VFR), including Belgrade. And it isn’t shy to pit them against much bigger and more cost-effective aircraft of competitors.
For example, this month it uses the aircraft to Barcelona, some 609 miles away, in head-to-head competition with Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800s. Because the Q400 is such a fast machine, the block time to the Spanish city is two hours and 15 minutes – just 20 minutes longer than for Ryanair.
What is the longest turboprop route you’ve flown? Let us know in the comments.