Routes with a flight number of one often conjure up images of prestige, importance, or difference. They may also reflect a historical point in time, a technological advancement, or the specific market or passengers, although they are perhaps outdated nowadays. Arguably the most famous of all were BA001 and AF001: Concorde services from London and Paris to JFK. British Airways later reused 001 on its all-business-class operation from London City to JFK using the A318.
Routes with a flight number of one
Looking at the (randomly chosen) week starting August 9th, 2021, many routes will use 001. These range from Emirates EK1 from Dubai to London Heathrow by the 517-seat A380 to Direct Flight DCT1. This is a 47-mile service connecting the tiny Scottish airports of Lerwick and Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands using a nine-seat Britten-Norman Islander.
Long-haul routes using Flight One
The 001 number is most directly associated with long-haul routes. Some 13 non-stop routes over 3,000 miles are bookable this coming August week, as follows, ordered here by total available seat capacity. Most of these use the flight number from their hub or main airport. There are just three exceptions: all Japanese airlines returning to Japan.
- Emirates: Dubai to London Heathrow; seven-weekly by the A380
- Turkish Airlines: Istanbul Airport to New York JFK; seven-weekly; B777-300ER
- Aeromexico: Mexico City to Madrid; seven-weekly; B787-9
- El Al: Tel Aviv to New York JFK; six-weekly; B787-9
- Delta: New York JFK to London Heathrow; five-weekly; B767-400ER
- LOT Polish: Warsaw to Chicago O’Hare; four-weekly; B787-8 and -9
- Finnair: Helsinki to Los Angeles; three-weekly; A350-900
- Etihad: Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt; three-weekly; B787-10
- All Nippon: Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita; three-weekly; B787-9
- Japan Airlines: San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda; three-weekly; B787-9
- WestJet: Calgary to London Gatwick; twice-weekly; B787-9
- Biman Bangladesh: Dhaka to London Heathrow; once-weekly; B787-8
- ZIPAIR: Honolulu to Tokyo Narita; once-weekly; B787-8
Emirates Flight 1
Emirates’ EK1 from Dubai to London Heathrow will, as usual, leave the UAE at 07:45 and arrive in the UK at 12:25 local time. The significance of this specific flight is such that it was Emirates’ first A380 service to resume in July 2020 after four months of no activity.
Looking back to 2004, this specific flight was previously operated by the B777-300 (non-ER) before the B777-300ER also began to serve it the following year. The A380 made its first appearance in late 2008, the year Emirates received it first received the A380. However, EK1 wasn’t the first flight to see the carrier’s A380. That was New York JFK (EK201) in August 2008.
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EK1: Dubai to Heathrow
The departure time of EK1 falls in the Emirates’ largest departure wave from its Dubai hub, which remains so even during COVID. This can be seen below. This means passengers from large numbers of origins connect onto it, with previous analysis looking at exactly where Emirates passengers went in 2019.
Shorter routes using Flight One
Nearly 30 other routes also use flight number one on a non-stop basis. This August week includes Southern Express’ service from Memphis to Destin Executive Airport, a distance of 379 miles using a nine-seat Cessna 208 Caravan. This often takes about two hours.
It also includes an array of other different and exciting services, such as:
- Cape Air’s White Plains-Provincetown
- Sky Express from Athens to Kozani
- Safarilink from Nairobi Wilson to the Massai Mara
- Ravn from Dutch Harbor to Anchorage
- Lufttransport: Bodø to Værøy (helicopter service)
- Auric Air: Lake Manyara to Grumeti (Tanzania)
- Nauru Airlines: Nauru to Brisbane
Flight One: the top-10 shorter routes
The shorter routes with the most available seat capacity are as follows. While the list includes Dubai to Doha, arguably one of the world’s most exciting routes, it is led by Hawaiian HA1 from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Using a 278-seat A330-200, this leaves California at 07:00 local time and arrives in Hawaii at 09:45. (AA1 falls outside of the top-10 on account of being operated by very low-capacity A321Ts.)
- Hawaiian: Los Angeles to Honolulu; seven-weekly; A330-200
- Spirit: Fort Lauderdale to Chicago O’Hare; seven-weekly; A321
- JetBlue: New York JFK to Fort Lauderdale; seven-weekly; A321
- Alaska: Washington National to Seattle; seven-weekly; A321neo
- Nok Air: Bangkok Don Mueang to Chiang Mai; seven-weekly; B737-800
- Skymark: Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka; seven-weekly; B737-800
- Air Macau: Beijing Capital to Macau; seven-weekly; A321
- flydubai: Dubai to Doha; seven-weekly; B737-800
- SAS: Luleå to Stockholm Arlanda; seven-weekly; A320neo /CRJ-900
- Southwest: Dallas Love to Houston Hobby; six-weekly B737-700/MAX 8
AS1: Washington to Seattle
Alaska’s AS1 is one of only a handful of routes to see the former Virgin America A321neos, each with 190 seats. As you’d expect, the type is mainly deployed on longer routes (the average distance is 2,046 miles) and are primarily transcontinental. Such routes benefit from stronger economics. (AS1 used to be Fairbanks-Anchorage-Seattle by Boeing 737s.)
At 2,329 miles, National to Seattle is Alaska’s second-longest A321neo route in this specific week after Boston-Seattle. Looking back to 2019, Alaska had an 86.8% seat load factor on it, according to the Department of Transportation’s T-100 statistics.
What Flight One routes have you flown? Share your experiences by commenting.