10 Fascinating Guinness World Record Flights
10 Fascinating Guinness World Record Flights

10 Fascinating Guinness World Record Flights

Do you know any aviation world records? We will take a closer look and explore our top 10 aviation-related Guinness World Record flights!

10. World’s Longest Non-Stop Commercial Flight

Singapore Airlines currently operates the world’s longest scheduled commercial flight.

First inaugurated in 2004 the 16,600km journey was flown by the airlines A340-500 fleet. However, with rising fuel costs, inefficiency and a lack of profitability the airline was forced to shut down its 18-hour long flight.

an airplane flying over a road

In 2018 with the introduction of the Airbus A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range) Singapore Airlines resumed their service to New York! Currently, the nonstop service operates as a Vaccinated Travel Lane between Singapore and New York JFK.

9. Longest Airborne Time by an Airplane

If you thought Singapore Airlines’ 18-hour nonstop flight was long then this will blow your mind!

With innovative technology and more fuel-efficient engines, one could only expect that this world record be completed by a modern airliner. However, as the picture below suggests, a Cessna C172 has been crowned champion of this title. So how did this exactly happen?

The year was 1985 and two ambitious pilots were planning something unheard of! Flying a Cessna C172 for multiple days straight without landing! The two pilots, Bob Timm and John Cook modified their C172 by installing a 95-gallon fuel tank, a mattress and a sink. The big day came and they set off on their incredible journey, which lasted a total of 64 days, 22 hours and 19 minutes!

Flying around California and the Nevada desert refueling was made possible by flying low level next to a fuel truck twice a day. A hose from the truck was then lifted up to the plane. Two months later the aircraft finally landed back on the ground and a Guinness world record was set!

Today the Cessna used for that flight can be found hanging from the ceiling inside McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Can you imagine being stuck on an airplane for so long?

a plane in the ceiling
Photo via WikiMedia Commons/Mr. Satterly

8. Largest Volume Ever Transported by Air

While a lot of us didn’t do much traveling in 2020, the mighty Antonov An-225 was busy flying and even set another world record. It transported 150 metric tons of cargo from China all the way to Paris, France.

The cargo onboard included medical masks, gloves and other protective clothing. According to reports it took ground staff more than 10 hours to unload the cargo.

7. World’s First Fully Vaccinated Flight

On the 6th of April 2021, Qatar Airways operated the world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight from Doha. Flight QR6421, operated by an A350-1000 with registration A7-ANF, carried 144 vaccinated passengers and 18 crew onboard.

I was invited to be a part of this flight. We departed Hamad International Airport at 11:45 am and our flight time was 3 hours and 15 minutes. The flight took us over the Persian Gulf, UAE, and Oman.

6. Most Nationalities Onboard a Flight

on 29th Nov 2019 Emirates operated a one-off historic A380 flight, marking the 48th UAE National Day and the UAE Year of Tolerance. 145 nationalities, over 500 passengers and a kaleidoscope of cultures came together to make history on Emirates flight EK2019.

The “Year of Tolerance” special livery A380 was operated on the EK2019 flight; registration of the aircraft was A6-EVB, a 2 class A380 with a 615 passengers capacity.

a group of people standing in front of an airplane

The flight welcomed passengers from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and cultures; it included employees, families and children, as well as people of determination. Passengers were encouraged to travel in their national clothing and, throughout the flight, their colourful costumes became a vibrant collage honouring their different heritages and traditions.

5. World’s Shortest Commercial Flight

If you are able to hold your breath longer than 53 seconds then congratulations, you have just spent more time than the world’s shortest flight!

The journey takes us to the Orkney island in Scotland, where Loganair operates daily services between the two islands of Westray and Papa Westray.
The 2.7 kilometre flight is being flown by a Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander.

4. Longest Domestic Flight

Ladies and gentleman, welcome aboard Air France flight from Paris to Reunion Island!

From mainland Europe to the tropical island of Reunion, Air France operates the world’s longest domestic flight with an average flight time of 10 hours 30 minutes! Typically flown by a Boeing 777, passengers on this flight are only required to have an ID card with them as they technically never leave the country. How would you feel after flying for more than 10 hours only to land back in the same country that you departed in?

a large airplane taking off

During COVID, the world’s longest commercial domestic flight was flight TN64 operated by Air Tahiti Nui. The flight operated between Papette and Paris CDG. It covered of 15,715 kilometres (9,765 mi; 8,485 nm) taking approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes.

French Bee operated the longest nonstop domestic cargo flight, from Tahiti to Paris on 14 May 2020.

3. World’s Largest Aircraft

Many tend to believe that the Antonov AN-225 is the world’s largest aircraft. However, this is not the case. With a length of 73 meters, a height of 15 meters and a width of 117 meters, Stratolaunch has victoriously gained the title of the world’s largest aircraft. Its intended use is to carry and launch rockets at an altitude of 35,000 feet!

a colorful airplane with text and numbers
Clem Tillier via Wikimedia Commons

2. World’s Longest Passenger Flight and Time

Qantas broke not one but two world records when they flew on the 13th of November 2019, nonstop from London to Sydney. Qantas flight QF7879, aka “Project Sunrise”, was airborne for 19 hours and 19 minutes and covered a total distance of 17,800 kilometres.

This one-off flight was conducted as a research flight to see how the human body would perform and adapt to such a long flight.

1. Most Passengers Onboard an Aircraft

On the 24th of May 1991, 1088 People were transported out of Ethiopia to Israel using an El Al Boeing 747. Codenamed “Operation Salomon“ the flight served as an evacuation flight and landed in Israel with two additional passengers, as two babies were born on the flight.

The Boeing 747-200 used for this flight had a maximum occupancy of 480 passengers. With over a thousand people crammed into this queen of the skies a world record was set for the most passengers onboard an aircraft.

a group of people in white robes

Do you know any other Guinness World record commercial flights? Feel free to share it in the comment with me!