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For example, JQ151 from Sydney to Christchurch is around 3 hours. NZ1 however, is about another 7 to Hong Kong.

Will need a regular flight number to verify.

Definition is longest in terms of flight time / distance (they should be linked, logically?).

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Do you mean longest non-stop flight or is that including stopovers? What about "technical breaks" like fuel stopovers? – Ankur Banerjee Jan 24 '12 at 6:08
as long as it's the same flight number, that's fine. I was going to say longest trip, but you could be a weasel and hop to every state in the US before going to the UK, for example :P – Mark Mayo Jan 24 '12 at 6:10
Flight time and distance are related by not directly proportional. Plane speeds vary, and the very regular jet stream air currents can make a huge difference in average flight times. – Michael Borgwardt Jan 24 '12 at 9:26
Related: – Mark Mayo Jan 24 '12 at 11:29
I don't have access to look it up right now, but I believe JFK-JNB is a single flight number, with a tech stop in Dakkar. 18 or 20 hours if memory serves. – Kate Gregory Jan 24 '12 at 21:27
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The longest non-stop (by Wikipedia source) flight was Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines flight SQ21 which is and 18 hour 50 minute flight of some 15,345km. However, as of November 2013, Singapore Airlines has discontinued this route.

However for single flight number, allowing stopover, things are hard to research. Not many websites list tables of distances by flight number. So I resorted to thinking of a route and then looking on the airline websites to see if it was one flight number or split over two flight numbers.

I suspect the longest route that could be a single flight number and have a stopover would be Northern Europe to Australia. So I searched on several airlines for flights. I found a few contenders (but no definitive answers):

  • NZ1 and NZ38, both on Air New Zealand fly London to Auckland with a stop in Hong Kong in 26 hours and 40 minutes. A distance of 18,463 km.

  • QF320 on Qantas and BA15 on British Airways fly London to Sydney with a stopover in Singapore. They both take 22 hours and 50 minutes.

  • QF1 on Qantas goes from Sydney to London, again stopping in Singapore and is 23 hours and 25 minutes.

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I've done that NZ1/38 flight. The worst part is finally getting to AKL, and then still having to fly to CHC! – Mark Mayo Jan 24 '12 at 7:55
not that far behind, Paris-Papeete by Air France AF076/077 takes respectively 22h30 and 20h55 with a stop in LA. I could not find the distance though. – Vince Oct 26 '12 at 8:57
There is a flight from a French colony (Nouvelle Calédonie, I think) in the South Pacific to Paris via Réunion. I have no idea on any details (flight number, distance, time) but it might be a candidate. It basically goes west across Australia, lands in Réunion to pick up passengers (this is where I got on) and then flies north west over the Horn of Africa to Paris. – Rich Oct 26 '12 at 14:50

From Wikipedia:

Newark - Singapore (Singapore Airlines)
flight number: SQ 21,
15,345km (9,535 miles, 8,285 nautical miles)
from 18 hr 40 min to 18 hr 50 min,
aircraft: Airbus A340-500,
first flight - 29 June 2004

Second place:

Los Angeles - Singapore (Singapore Airlines)
flight number: SQ 37,
14,114km (8,770 miles, 7,621 nautical miles)
from 17 hr 20 min to 18 hr 05 min,
aircraft: Airbus A340-500,
first flight - 3 February 2004

Third place (surprisingly only by distance, but not by time)

Sydney - Dallas (Qantas)
flight number: QF 7,
13,804km (8,578 miles, 7,454 nautical miles)
15 hr 25 min,
aircraft: Boeing 747-400,
first flight - 16 May 2011

Third place by time:

Los Angeles - Bangkok (Thai Airways International)
flight number: TG 795,
13,309km (8,270 miles, 7,186 nautical miles)
17 hr 20 min,
aircraft: Airbus A340-500,
first flight - 28 September 2006

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So I think you should try out the flight from Newark to LA via Singapore – VMAtm Jan 24 '12 at 7:06
SQ21 and SQ37 are special in that they are business class only planes in order to reduce weight and allow them to cover such a long distance. QF7 Sydney to Dallas is non-stop, but the return QF8 can only make it as far as Brisbane, where it has to stop for fuel. – Doc Jan 28 '12 at 8:54
As far as I know, the time difference between QF7 and TG795 is due to more favorable prevailing winds in the case of QF7. – reirab Sep 18 '14 at 14:13

The longest flight by flight number (including stops) would be Korean Air's flight 062 from Guarulhos Gov Andre Franco Montouro (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil to Incheon Intl (ICN) in South Korea via Los Angeles International (LAX). It is 28 hours and 35 minutes.

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Since the two answers so far will no longer be valid soon, I thought it is time to add a new answer:

Singapore Airlines is cancelling their nonstop flights from Newark to Singapore and from Los Angeles to Singapore. So the longest flight will be Sydney - Dallas by Qantas (QF7).

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Here is an update for 2016:

Early on 3 March, Emirates flight 449 made history when it touched down in Dubai from Auckland. The Airbus A380 covered an estimated 9,000 miles between New Zealand’s largest city and the airline's hub, making it the current longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight by a distance.

The Independent

Here is what we can look forward to in the coming years:

Qatar Airways Flight 921 from Auckland to Doha, which will be the longest flight in the world, will be flown with a Boeing 777-200LR when it starts 2 February 2017, overtaking Emirates' spot with their Auckland-Dubai flight. Wikipedia

Singapore Airlines revealed plans last year to bring back its Singapore-New Jersey service in 2018. The flight will apparently cover some 15,300km (9,500 miles) in 19 hours.

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