24

For the purpose of this question, distance means the number of flight hops needed to get from one country to another, with the following conditions:

  • Any two points within the two countries count, so you can't pick the least popular airport in the country.
  • Only scheduled flights are included.
  • No overland transport is allowed, unless transferring within the same city
  • Flying over a country doesn't count, you have to set foot there.
  • You have to pick the shortest possible route, so you mustn't construct a longer route for the sake of adding more hops.
  • Any country on Wikipedia's main list of states works.
  • If the direction matters (it's faster to get from A to B than vice-versa), pick the longer direction

My guess would be that it takes three hops at most, but maybe some countries are more remote than that?

  • 32
    Obviously, there are some coutries that do not have any airports (Vatican for example), so the real answer should be infinity :) – Petr Apr 9 '18 at 7:30
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    Related (not duplicate): travel.stackexchange.com/q/81783/4171 – Ari Brodsky Apr 9 '18 at 8:04
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    This feels more like a quiz rather than a genuine travel need. – camden_kid Apr 9 '18 at 9:50
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    @camden_kid The factoids tag is almost as old as the site itself; such questions have long been considered on-topic. – AakashM Apr 9 '18 at 10:53
  • @Petr quora.com/What-is-the-only-country-that-doesnt-have-an-airport. Most of them however do have heliports, but not sure about scheduled flights (Vatican does not I believe)). So you still right, but it does beg the question, does a heliport count for this question? – Jeroen Apr 9 '18 at 14:05
22

5 flight segments:

  1. INU (Nauru, Nauru)
  2. BNE (Brisbane, Australia)
  3. LAX (Los Angeles, California, United States of America)
  4. ATL (Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America)
  5. SJU (San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States of America)
  6. DOM (Dominica)
  • 1
    I think Nauru to Dominica is also actually 5 segments minimum, unless I'm missing something, since from Brisbane to San Juan you need 3 segments. – ajd Apr 9 '18 at 14:43
  • It's interesting that in the early years of this decade, the reverse trip (from DOM-INU) could be done in 4 segments, when Qantas had a technical stop in Brisbane on its way from Dallas to Sydney. (So the routing would be DOM-SJU-DFW-BNE-INU.) – ajd Apr 9 '18 at 20:22
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    Interesting that Pyongyang, North Korea is actually one segment closer (INU-BNE-LAX-PEK-FNJ). – Jim MacKenzie Apr 9 '18 at 22:56
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    Just curious - How did you come up with the route? – BruceWayne Apr 10 '18 at 1:30
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    Two segments closer - air China flies nonstop BNE-PEK. – ajd Apr 10 '18 at 7:21
25

From Nauru, the only "mainland" airport you can fly to is Brisbane, Australia. From there it is at least two hops to anywhere in Europe or Africa. On the other hand, from the only international airport in Equitorial Guinea you must fly to another airport in Africa, or an airport in Europe, before you can go anywhere else. So I believe that flying from Nauru to Equitorial Guinea will take you at least four hops.

  • 3
    Similarly: Nauru - Brisbane - Sydney (other options) - Johannesburg - Swaziland. – ugoren Apr 9 '18 at 8:19
  • Poor Swaziland... – Restioson Apr 9 '18 at 10:49
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    Kiribati is similar except you can't even get a nonstop flight to Brisbane from there, needing to stop in Nauru or the Solomon Islands first, as far as I can tell. – Michael Hoffman Apr 9 '18 at 13:25
  • Indeed! I was mislead by the Wikipedia article, which lists a connection between those two cities, but it's a direct flight with a stop in the Solomon Islands. – ajd Apr 9 '18 at 14:39
  • Looks like 4 hops is possible, though (INU-BNE-SIN-ADD-SSG), so DOM is fiddlier than SSG in the end. – Gray Taylor May 5 '18 at 11:47
8

I think The Federated States of Micronesia to Dominica ties Michael's answer with 5 segments:

  1. Chuuk Island, Federated States of Micronesia (TKK) - Guam, USA (GUM)
  2. Guam (GUM) - Honolulu, HI, USA (HNL)
  3. Honolulu (HNL) - Atlanta, GA, USA (ATL)
  4. Atlanta (ATL) - either San Juan, PR, USA (SJU) or St. Maartin, Netherlands (SXM)
  5. SJU or SXM to Dominica (DOM)

You could also do NRT and JFK instead of HNL and ATL if you really like taking the long way. Or you could substitute JFK for ATL while leaving HNL.

Note that while the Wiki pages for Chuuk and other Federated States of Micronesia airports mention flights to HNL, these are all the United "Island Hopper" flight and are not non-stop.

  • 1
    This one's particularly interesting because so many of the stops are in the same country (USA). – NeutronStar Apr 10 '18 at 14:43
  • @Joshua Yeah, it is kind of funny that all 4 intermediate stops are in the USA... even though GUM is 9,400 miles (15,100 km) from SJU. – reirab Apr 10 '18 at 15:24
1

From Vientiane to Rio it takes at least 3 flights. Which means that from smaller Lao airports like Luang Namtha nor Oudomsay, which have flights only to VTE, it takes at least 4 hops. Attapeu was worse, since it took two hops to VTE (AOU-PKZ, PKZ-VTE), but it's closed now.

  • 3
    Vientiane is in Laos, though, so the distance from those smaller airports doesn't matter. – ajd Apr 9 '18 at 5:26
  • Right. Forgot it was about countries, rather than cities... Oops – user67108 Apr 9 '18 at 5:34
  • Google Flights offers a VTE-BKK-LHR-GIG flight, which is only 3 hops. – JonathanReez Apr 9 '18 at 7:09

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