By Jacob Passy
It very well could take you longer to read this story than it would to ride on the world’s shortest scheduled passenger flight.
Loganair, a Scottish regional airline, holds that title thanks to its itinerary between Westray and Papa Westray , two of the Orkney Islands located north of Great Britain. The flight, which travels 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers), lasts only 1.5 minutes in the air. The cost of a one-way ticket starts at 17 pounds (roughly $22).
That’s a blip compared to the 19.5-hour flight that Australian carrier Qantas /zigman2/quotes/205878984/delayed DE:QAN -1.27% /zigman2/quotes/206759198/delayed QABSY +2.52% is testing this week . The 10,000-mile nonstop voyage on a Boeing /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -0.76% 787-9 from New York to Sydney will be the world’s longest flight.
The title was previously held by the New York-Singapore route flown by Singapore Airlines /zigman2/quotes/203950588/delayed SINGF -2.18% . That trip takes nearly 18 hours — some 1,080 times longer than the Loganair flight, give or take a minute.
The Westray-Papa Westray route isn’t the only short flight that Loganair offers. The journey between Eday and Kirkwall, another two of the Orkney Islands, takes a staggering 10 minutes to complete.
Looking to take a short trip closer to home? United Airlines /zigman2/quotes/205037281/composite UAL -1.06% operates the shortest flight in the continental U.S. , a 16-minute trip between San Francisco and Santa Rosa, located in the Sonoma County wine region. (Sightseeing flight operator Greater Toronto Airways boasts the shortest flight in North America , a 10-minute route between Toronto and Niagara.)
In Hawaii, travelers can take a 15-minute flight between the Kalaupapa and Ho’olehua airports on Moloka’i for as little as $50 on Mokulele Airlines.
Of course, flying is particularly bad for the environment — aircraft are responsible for 2.5% of total global carbon dioxide emissions. So travelers concerned about their carbon footprint may want to consider other means of travel — for instance, a 25-minute car ferry also runs between Westray and Papa Westray.
The U.S. Global Jets ETF /zigman2/quotes/207744796/composite JETS -0.58% , which tracks airline operators worldwide, has dropped in value roughly 5% over the last three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.57% and S&P 500 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.30% are down 1.4% and .38% respectively over that same time.
This story was updated on Oct. 18, 2019.