There’s something exciting about very long routes, at least until you’re aboard. It feels like they’re pushing the envelope, even though it’s now commonplace. This winter, there are 72 non-stop routes over 6,000 nautical miles – nearly 7,000 statute miles – from the US. While some may be pushed back, the vast majority will operate. We examine what’s available.
Routes rise to 89 when airlines are considered
While there are 72 routes – specific airport pairs – it rises to 89 when airlines are included, with the difference because some routes have more than one operator. These include Delta and Korean Air from Atlanta to Seoul, American and Air India from JFK to Delhi, and four airlines – American, Delta, Qantas, and United – on the long journey between Los Angeles and Sydney.
This article looks only at non-stops, although there are 11 one-stops over 6,000 NM, according to OAG schedules data. These include Ethiopian Airlines from JFK and Newark to Addis Ababa via Lomé, Emirates from JFK to Dubai via Milan, and Singapore Airlines from Houston to Singapore via Manchester.
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The USA’s longest non-stop routes
The USA’s longest route – and also that of the world – is JFK to Singapore, operated once-daily by Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULRs. The Star Alliance carrier is expected to resume Singapore-Newark in January, with both the world’s first and second longest routes briefly coexisting. But it’ll revert to only Newark from the summer.
- Singapore Airlines: JFK to Singapore, 8,287 NM
- Singapore Airlines: Newark to Singapore, 8,285 NM
- Singapore Airlines: Los Angeles to Singapore, 7,621 NM
- Air India and United: San Francisco to Bangalore, 7,561 NM
- United: Houston to Sydney, 7,470 NM
- Qantas: Dallas to Sydney, 7,454 NM
- Philippine Airlines: JFK to Manila, 7,404 NM
- Singapore Airlines and United: San Francisco to Singapore, 7,339 NM
- Delta: Atlanta to Johannesburg, 7,333 NM
- Emirates: Los Angeles to Dubai, 7,246 NM
14 US airports involved
The non-stops airport pairs involve 14 US airports; those with four or more are detailed below. Given Los Angeles’ location, it’s no surprise that it has the most. Seattle is intriguing. Its four are American to Bangalore, now expected to start on January 4th; Emirates to Dubai; Qatar to Doha; and Singapore back home, due to resume on January 1st.
- Los Angeles: 14 airport pairs over 6,000 NM (excluding those with two+ airlines)
- San Francisco: 11
- Chicago: 9
- JFK: 7
- Newark: 7
- Washington: 6
- Dallas: 5
- Seattle: 4
And 27 airports abroad
The non-stops also involve 27 airports abroad, such as Cebu in the Philippines, connected to Los Angeles twice weekly. With nine routes over 6,000 NM, Dubai has more long examples than any other airport, followed by Doha, Delhi, Hong Kong, and Sydney.
Hong Kong is slowly planning to reopen, with six US airports connected this winter across three carriers. However, a seventh airport (Dallas) is due to welcome back American’s route to Hong Kong on March 27th, the first day of the northern hemisphere’s summer season.
‘Unusual’ long routes
There are a handful of less-discussed long routes to the US. These include Saudia from Jeddah to Los Angeles, Kenya Airways from Nairobi to JFK, and Xiamen from Los Angeles to its namesake city.
Restarting on December 11th is Saudia’s Los Angeles link. At 7,240 NM, it is the 11th longest non-stop to the US. Served three-weekly using the B777-300ER, it combines not just a long duration – 16 hours and 40 minutes to California – but also a less favorable departure time: 05:40 from Jeddah, arriving Los Angeles at 11:00 local time.
What is the longest route you’ve been on? Let us know in the comments.