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Starting from London, what are the furthest places that can be reached by commercial flights, with any number of flight segments and stopovers, but all flights lasting under 2 hours?

For example, can you make it to Shanghai? Tokyo? Sydney? Cape Town? And with what route?

  • 13
    Are you asking as an academic problem? Or because you have an aversion to long flights? If the latter, we'll have to consider your eligibility for transit visas, and the political risks of entering certain countries. Also, the fare might be extremely exhorbitant. A sea trip might be more practical. – Jim MacKenzie Dec 29 '17 at 18:00
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    Really curious about that... My former boss has a genetic disease that prevents him from flying more than 6 hours (well he can but needs injections in-flight, which is never pleasant). So he solved the problem by buying a private jet and flying within range of the plane only. – user67108 Dec 29 '17 at 19:16
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    Interesting question, but why?? – Byte11 Dec 29 '17 at 20:40
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    Have you considered walking to your destination instead? – Mehrdad Dec 29 '17 at 23:06
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    We're really curious about the reason why you ask this... while the question is interesting, I don't think it's useful for anyone else except the OP. – Andrew T. Dec 30 '17 at 4:14
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FlightConnections.com lists flight times rounded off to the nearest 5 minutes. Limiting oneself to connections listed on this website as having a flight time of 2h00m or less (as of December 2017), one can construct the following 17-segment itinerary from London to Tokyo, via Shanghai:

  • London–Frankfurt: 1h40m
  • Frankfurt–Belgrade: 1h50m
  • Belgrade–Istanbul: 1h45m
  • Istanbul–Beirut: 1h50m
  • Beirut–Baghdad: 1h30m
  • Baghdad–Bahrain: 1h50m
  • Bahrain–Muscat: 1h30m
  • Muscat–Karachi: 1h55m
  • Karachi–Lahore: 1h45m
  • Lahore–Delhi: 1h25m
  • Delhi–Kathmandu: 1h35m
  • Kathmandu–Lhasa: 1h25m
  • Lhasa–Chengdu: 2h00m
  • Chengdu–Changsha: 1h50m
  • Changsha–Shanghai: 2h00m
  • Shanghai–Fukuoka: 1h25m
  • Fukuoka–Tokyo: 1h45m

It also appears to be possible to make it to Sydney in 27 segments. Proceed to Chengdu as above, then:

  • Chengdu–Kunming: 1h30m
  • Kunming–Hanoi: 1h25m
  • Hanoi–Phnom Penh: 1h40m
  • Phnom Penh–Kuala Lumpur: 1h50m
  • Kuala Lumpur–Jakarta: 2h00m
  • Jakarta–Surabaya: 1h15m
  • Surabaya–Denpasar: 1h10m
  • Denapasar–Dili: 1h45m
  • Dili–Darwin: 1h20m
  • Darwin–Gove: 1h40m
  • Gove–Cairns: 1h45m
  • Cairns–Townsville: 0h55m
  • Townsville–Brisbane: 1h50m
  • Brisbane–Sydney: 1h35m

Finally, London–Cape Town can be done in 15 segments. Proceed to Belgrade as above, and then take the following flights:

  • Belgrade–Athens: 1h30m
  • Athens–Cairo: 1h50m
  • Cairo–Medina: 1h50m
  • Medina–Khartoum: 2h00m
  • Khartoum–Juba: 1h00m (though I suspect that this should be 2h00m, given that the return flight is 3h00m)
  • Juba–Nairobi: 1h40m
  • Nairobi–Dar es Salaam: 1h25m
  • Dar es Salaam–Pemba: 1h10m
  • Pemba–Nampula: 0h40m
  • Nampula–Beira: 1h15m
  • Beira–Johannesburg: 1h50m
  • Johannesburg–Bloemfontein: 1h05m
  • Bloemfontein–Cape Town: 1h40m

Given the inefficiency of the route I found through Mozambique, there may be a route to Cape Town with fewer segments via western Africa rather than eastern Africa.

map by jcaron on gcmap see comment below

All of these itineraries are presented with the caveat that I have not verified the flight times with the airlines in question; indeed, I am not 100% convinced that Flightconnections.com is handling the time zones correctly for some of the flights in Africa.

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    Just reading these lists makes my sinuses ache. – Mike Harris Dec 29 '17 at 16:46
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    Just for fun, the 3 routes above mapped: gcmap.com/… – jcaron Dec 29 '17 at 23:24
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    We should also remember than once upon a time, that was how long distance travel was done. Some of the legs in this post are actually slightly longer than the operating range of the de Havilland D.H.86 which was used on the Singapore-Sydney part of the Kangaroo route at its inception. – jcaron Dec 29 '17 at 23:30
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    Just for correctness, it was Singapore-Brisbane, and it wasn't called the Kangaroo Route yet in 1935. But the whole London-Brisbane trip did make quite a few stops en route... – jcaron Dec 29 '17 at 23:51
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    @jcaron I've edited in your map from the link, it really helps show what's happening – Kate Gregory Dec 30 '17 at 16:53

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