Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Mon September 21 2015

Another Candidate For the World's Longest Flight Emerges

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | September 21, 2015

Another Candidate For the World's Longest Flight Emerges

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Air India is planning a new route that could become the world’s longest flight.

The carrier wants to link its own tech hotspot in Bengaluru with Silicon Valley in the U.S. — specifically San Francisco — which would create the world’s lengthiest flight if the airline opts to fly directly out of Bengaluru instead of Delhi.

That journey by air would be almost 8,700 miles, roughly an 18-hour trip one way, according to the Times of India.

"We are planning to have a nonstop from either Delhi or Bengaluru to San Francisco on our Boeing 777-200 long range aircraft,” a senior Air India executive told the paper. “And in addition we are planning a direct service between Ahmedabad and London due to the huge demand for travel between these two cities.”

Emirates Airlines last month announced a new route from its hub in Dubai to Panama City, Panama, beginning Feb. 1. And when it launches, it will officially become the world's longest commercial flight.

Panama's capital will be the airline’s first destination in Central America. At 8,584 miles from Dubai, the flight will clock in at 17 hours and 35 minutes when traveling westward.

The world’s longest commercial flight currently belongs to Australian carrier Qantas, which operates a route between Sydney and Dallas that covers about 8,575 miles in just under 17 hours.

The Times of India reported that the announcement for the nonstop India-SFO flight could be made when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Silicon Valley later this week. Surprisingly, San Francisco International has no direct flight to India, the paper notes, despite a significant Indian population in Silicon Valley and the travel requirements of techies between the two cyber hubs. 

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