You can’t even have time to eat for half an hour, are there really shorter flights? Of course, we are talking about regular flights with commercial flights – it is clear that on a private small plane you can fly to the desired point in fifteen minutes. But is it possible to buy a ticket, and spend, say, half an hour in the air? It turns out you can. We learned about the shortest flights in the world.
Westray – Papa Westray, Scotland
Travel time: from 53 seconds to 2 minutes (depending on wind direction)
Route length: 2.7 km
The shortest commercial flight in the world takes only a few minutes and passes between the two Scottish islands of Westray and Papa Westray. Passengers spend less than five minutes in an aeroplane, and half of this time is spent on starting the engine, running and braking. Interestingly, the distance between points – 2.7 km – slightly more than the average length of the runway in large airports.
On weekdays, the plane flies in both directions. On Saturday, the flight is operated only from Westray to Papa Westray; you can return back only on Sunday. Tickets for the flight cost £ 17 (1,285 rubles) one way.
Who needs this flight? Local residents fly there, mostly students and teachers from Westreya: the fact is that there are more than 60 archaeological monuments and excavations in Pope Westray. Sometimes doctors and patients use the plane: about 90 people live on Papa Westray Island, but there are no medical facilities there. And of course, the flight is popular with tourists.
Two Pilatus Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander aircraft operate on the flight. The board is operated by one pilot, in the passenger compartment there is space for eight people plus one seat in the cockpit next to the pilot.
Kinshasa – Brazzaville
Airline: Comair-Co, ASKY, earlier still Ethiopian Airlines
Travel time: 35 minutes
Route length: 26 kilometres
In this story, one geographical name is repeated many times: the flight connects the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and the capital of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), and the cities are located on different banks of the Congo River.
There are 6 flights per week. Three airlines fly between cities: Cameroonian Comair-Co, Pan-African ASKY and Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines. A flight between two capitals is not a cheap pleasure, on average a round-trip ticket costs about $ 630.
You can also get from Kinshasa to Brazzaville by ferry ($ 5 for a one-way ticket) or speedboat ($ 25). The fastest way is by boat – about 15 minutes on the road. But lay about another hour for the border, plus get ready for the local colour and queues.
Tangier – Gibraltar
Airline: Royal Air Maroc
Travel time: 40-50 minutes
Route length: 69 km
The airline Morocco offers a regular flight between the northernmost point of the country, the city of Tangier, and Gibraltar, which belongs to the UK. There are only two flights per week, on Thursdays and Sundays. The plane is not a small “corncob”, but quite an impressive ATR72 with 70 seats, the cabin is divided into economy and business classes. The cheapest ticket will cost a little more than 6000 rubles.
If you don’t like aeroplanes, ferries are about the same route. True, the road will take a little more time – it will take about an hour and a half to swim.
St. Gallen-Alternrhein – Friedrichshafen
Airline: People’s Vienna line, Austria
Travel time: 8 minutes after climbing, the total duration is about 20 minutes.
Route length: 21 km
Status: closed from April 14
Unfortunately, the shortest flight in the world was closed just a couple of weeks ago. From the Swiss city of St., Gallen-Altenrhein to German Friedrichshafen could be reached in just 8 minutes, and the flight was carried out by a large jet plane. The airline launched the flight on November 2016 but was not able to reach the planned passenger turnover.
Why was the flight started at all? The fact is that the city is separated by Lake Constance, and it takes two hours by road from St. Gallen-Altenrhein to Friedrichshafen. The airline decided that such a flight would be in demand, besides hoping that with its appearance it would be possible to develop business tourism in Friedrichshafen. But the calculation failed, not least because of the high price: a one-way ticket cost 40 euros.
Vienna – Bratislava
Travel time: 10 minutes after climbing
Altitude: 48 km
The Austrian low-cost planned to start flights between Vienna and Bratislava in April 2015. In fact, this flight was necessary for airlines to fly from the capital of Slovakia – obviously, it is cheaper than from Vienna. So in order not just to overtake empty planes from one city to another, it was decided to sell tickets for them. FlyNiki wanted to operate up to 6 flights a week, but the plans did not come true: the airline decided not to transfer part of its office to Bratislava. The flight was already pretty pointless: if you need to get from Vienna to Bratislava, the most reasonable thing to do is by car – between the two capitals a little less than 50 km and the journey takes less than an hour.