The 10 Shortest Airline Routes In The World

When you think of traveling by plane, you may have visions of a multi hour flight that includes drinks, snacks, and even meals or movies.  Some airlines even offer a product that includes lay flat beds, private suites, and on-board showers or a bar area to socialize with a drink.  While all of these amenities are usually found on long haul flights, there are some flights that are shorter than the time it takes you to read this paragraph.  Yes, that is right.  The world’s shortest scheduled passenger flight can clock in at less than 1 minute from takeoff until landing.

This article will cover the 10 shortest airline routes in the world based on total average flight time.

Shortest Airline Routes

10.) Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) to Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) to Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 30 minutes

Total Distance:  16 miles

The capitals of Brazzaville and Kinshasa are separated by the Congo River, and while the flight time is only 30 minutes, it is actually quicker to to take one of the ferry boats across than taking the time to go to the airport and fly across the river.

9.) Bonaire to Curacao (Caribbean)

Bonaire to Curacao
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 25 minutes

Total Distance: 40 miles

Located off the coast of Venezuela are the “ABC Islands” known as Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  The island of Aruba is popular with American and Dutch tourists looking for a relaxing beach vacation, whereas Bonaire is popular for it’s diving, and Curacao for it’s strong connection to its Dutch history and more relaxed atmosphere.  The distance between Bonaire and Curacao is only 40 miles and takes roughly 25 minutes to fly between the two destinations.

8.) Minami-Daito (Japan) to Kita-Daito (Japan)

Minami-Daito (Japan) to Kita-Daito (Japan)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 20 Minutes

Total Distance: 8 miles

The southernmost prefecture of Japan is Okinawa, home to a whopping 160 different islands.  While travel times vary between islands, the shortest flight time between them are from Minami-Daito to Kita-Daito.  These islands are located only 8 miles from one another, and the flight time is a short and bearable 20 minutes.

7.) Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) to Zanzibar (Tanzania)

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) to Zanzibar (Tanzania)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 15 minutes

The Indian Ocean is the only thing separating Dar es Salaam from the unique and beautiful island of Zanzibar.  Most travelers tend to take the ferry, but you can fly on Air Tanzania or other airlines in as little as 15 minutes (give or take a few minutes) depending on the airline you pick.

6.) St. Maarten (Caribbean – Dutch) to Saba (Caribbean – Dutch)

St. Maarten (Caribbean - Dutch) to Saba (Caribbean - Dutch)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 15 minutes

St. Maarten and Saba are both Dutch islands located in the Caribbean Sea.  The flight time between these two islands is a low 15 minutes, but that is not all.  The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport located in Saba also has the world’s shortest runway.  That added fact is sure to make this flight even more interesting.

5.) St. Maarten (Caribbean – Dutch) to St. Bart’s (Caribbean – French)

St. Maarten (Caribbean - Dutch) to St. Bart's (Caribbean - French)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time:  15 minutes

St. Maarten makes the list again with a short island hop to the impeccable island of St. Barthelemy.  This French Territory in the Caribbean is only a 15 minute flight from St. Maarten and features two of the world’s most dramatic airports in terms of takeoff/landing.  The ferry between the two islands can take 30 minutes or more longer, so why not live a little and enjoy this fun and exciting island hopping experience by plane.

4.) St. Maarten (Caribbean – Dutch) to Anguilla (Caribbean)

St Maarten to Anguilla
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 10 Minutes

Total Distance: 12 miles

For a third time, St. Maarten makes the list for a shortest flight, but this time, it is to the island of Anguilla.  The total flight time between St. Maarten and the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport in Anguilla is only 10 minutes to cover the 12 mile distance between the airports.  Talk about a short trip!

3.) Connemara (Ireland) to Inis Mor (Ireland)

Connemara (Ireland) to Inis Mor (Ireland)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 10 minutes

Moving across the world and to the north, we find ourselves in the Aran Islands in Ireland.  This group of three islands are at the mouth of Galway Bay and will literally take your breath away with it’s stunning beauty.  Most travelers opt to take the ferry, but a flight from Connemara to Inis Mor takes less than 10 minutes.  Wow!

2.) Karpathos (Greece) to Kasos (Greece)

Karpathos (Greece) to Kasos (Greece)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 5 minutes

Total Distance: 12 miles

Moving further south in Europe we find ourselves in the Greek Islands.  A flight from the island of Karpathos to the island of Kasos is a brief 5 minutes and covers a tiny distance of 12 miles.  The islands are also connected by a ferry that takes roughly 90 minutes.  If you are in a hurry, the best option is surely to fly.

1.) Westray (Scotland) to Papa Westray (Scotland)

Westray (Scotland) to Papa Westray (Scotland)
Image from Great Circle Map and Google

Total Flight Time: 47 seconds

Total Distance: 1.7 miles

Venturing back to Northern Europe, we find ourselves in Scotland and the island of Westray.  The world’s shortest scheduled passenger flight usually takes around 2 minutes or less, but when the winds and weather are just right, the flight time can be cut in half to 1 minute or less.

Don’t expect a big passenger jet or any form of amenities on a flight this short.  The route is operated by a Britten Norma Islander aircraft (twin-propeller aircraft), and the route has been in operation since 1967.  The flight typically takes locals, professionals, and curious adventure seekers on this brief flight that is a valuable lifeline for the community.  There is also a boat that makes the trek, but that can take 20 minutes or longer.

Our advice is to take the flight and take pride in being one of the few people in the world that have taken the shortest commercial airline flight in existence.

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