What Are the Shortest Flights in the World?

The world’s shortest international flight is Anguilla – St. Maarten flight which is only 12 miles. Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the West Indies in the Caribbean. Princess Juliana International Airport is located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten.

The route is operated three times daily by Anguilla Air Services (Q3) with Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft.

The next shortest international route used to be St. Gallen-Altenrhein, Switzerland and Friedrichshafen, Germany at 13 miles. However this route, which started in November 2016, was ended in April 2017.

Oddly CNN says the shortest international flight is the 50 mile Aruba to Punto Fijo, Venezuela route operated twice weekly by Aruba Airlines with a Bombardier CRJ. This is doubly strange because the article includes the 16 mile Kinshasa – Brazzaville and calls it the shortest flight between two national capitals (which makes it an international flight).

Kinshasa is the former Léopoldville, capital of what used to sometimes be referred to as The Conga as opposed to Congo-Brazzaville or just Congo. Democratic Republic of Congo used to be known as Zaire and was once Belgian Congo, Republic of Congo was once administered by the French.

The title for shortest regularly scheduled flight may belong to Logainair’s Westray – Papa Westray service. It’s scheduled at 2 minutes, but usually takes just 1 minute. It’s a subsidized route of less than 2 miles over water that began in 1967. These airports no longer appear to be listed on the Loganair website but the route still appears to be scheduled six times a week.

However KegataApowo in Papua, Indonesia is slightly shorter. There appears to be video proof of the route online between 2013 and 2015. However I cannot find current service between these remote airports.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. My shortest was back in the days of Eastern Airlines. I flew on a 727 from Fort Lauderdale to Miami (21 flight miles) to connect to another flight.

  2. I think at some point United had a flight from SJC to SFO which is around 35 miles. If the flight had a low load, passengers would be sent by bus or even taxi to catch their ex- SFO flight.

  3. Back in the early 90s I was flying UAL from SFO to Ontario CA with a stopover in Oakland CA: SFO-OAK=11 miles.

  4. SXM-AXA is not only the shortest but the most satisfying flight …you land in paradise.

  5. There’s a flight from Papeete to Moorea in French Polynesia that’s about 7 minutes long. I took it with my wife about 10years ago. They take between 4 and 6 people per flight. They pick people by weight.

    I remember there was one pilot and he leaned over and closed the door as we were taxiing down the runway.

  6. I remember taking a couple Southwest flights from SFO to OAK, way back when SW was known as PSA. There was some kind of promotion to generate miles or points, or whatever. It may have been a quick turnaround, also. Memories fade.

  7. My “shortest” flight doesn’t seem so short anymore. It was from Houston, TX to San Antonio, TX last week. All of 38 minutes (215 miles). It felt like we went up and went right back down. But 1 minute. That definitely is amazing.

  8. There’s a flight that takes one minute!? Jeeze. I thought an hour’s flight seemed ridiculously short. Cool and informative piece. Thank you!

  9. ACK-HYA puddle-jumper takes 12 minutes on a good day, 14 with conditions.
    Two questions: 1. How much do you weigh? 2. How would you like to pay the $159?

  10. I flew from Lukla to Phaplu in a tiny plane and timed the flight to be about 5 minutes.

  11. I have flown BID-WST which is regular scheduled by EJ (New England Airlines). (I bet most readers need to look up both of those airports.) At 17 miles it is about 1/2 the distance of ACK-HYA. This got me thinking though, what is the shortest regularly scheduled flight in the US? Does anyone know of anything shorter?

  12. It is only two miles from Mackinac Island to St Ignace in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A terrifying two miles. You board the plane over the wing and pay $20 (cash) when you arrive. I had to take the flight when ice unexpectedly froze in the island for the season.

  13. Delta used to have a fight from FNT to DTW, only 56 miles. Similar distance to LAN to DTW mentioned by earlier poster. Connecting flights from flint to the east coast were codfish cheaper than direct flights from Detroit. I live closer to DTW but work closer to FNT. I would routinely ditch the last leg of my return trips and go home from DTW. I was disappointed when Delta ended that fight, but it’s probably because of people like me.

  14. Once flew JFK-LGA for stupid booking award of the century – Landed in LGA – drove to JFK for connecting flight – THROUGH LGA!! Any other way was over double the price!

    Distance: 10.69 mi (17.20 km)

  15. I have never done the SXM-AXA service but I have flown between St. Maarten and Saba (SXM-SAB) on multiple occasions with Winair which operates flights between SXM and smaller Carribean islands. The flight is about 15 minutes long. There rates are pretty affordable (compared to the ferry) and it is easier to fly than take a ferry. I have family both in St. Maarten and Saba so whenever I visit the Carribean I always travel between the two. As an avgeek I always grab the first seat on the plane so I can watch the landing in SAB which is the shortest international runway in the world. The airport in Saba is really cool you walk in there is a bar, a check in desk, security equipment never used, and a patio where you wait for the flight to come in.

  16. That doesn’t surprise me at all from CNN.. Always away from the facts, fake news in all sense.

  17. In the good ol’ days before socialism devoured my homecountry we used to have multiple daily frequencies from CUM to PMV @39miles. Some flights on a tiny Cessna Caravan (as a kid that’s how I fell in love with aviation, that thing REALLY MOVED on that route) and most of them on more ‘airliner’ Beechcraft 1900D. I Remember that I got frustrated because the airplane barely took off and almost immediately begun the descent. Also remember being a curious kid and asking the pilots about the turboprops which I didn’t fully grasp that was a reliable turbine instead of classic piston engine.
    Fond memories of a country gone.

  18. How about shortest flight in largest aircraft? BA operated London – Manama, Bahrain – Doha, Qatar, on 747 with the last leg only 92 miles. Then they did the same in reverse. Not sure if that is still running…. Made the trip several times.

  19. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (old airport) to Manama, Bahrain on KLM 747 was about 32 miles. The new airport is closer to 50 miles.

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