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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?

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  • 33
    Obviously, there are some coutries that do not have any airports (Vatican for example), so the real answer should be infinity :)
    – Petr
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 7:30
  • 2
    Related (not duplicate): travel.stackexchange.com/q/81783/4171 Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 8:04
  • 13
    This feels more like a quiz rather than a genuine travel need.
    – camden_kid
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 14:05

4 Answers 4

24

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)
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  • 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
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 14:43
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    Interesting that Pyongyang, North Korea is actually one segment closer (INU-BNE-LAX-PEK-FNJ). Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 22:56
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    Just curious - How did you come up with the route?
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 1:30
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    Two segments closer - air China flies nonstop BNE-PEK.
    – ajd
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 7:21
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    You can go the other way around, but it's still 5 segments - Nauru - Brisbane - Dubai - Madrid - San Juan - Domonica.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 7:49
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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.

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    Similarly: Nauru - Brisbane - Sydney (other options) - Johannesburg - Swaziland.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 8:19
  • Poor Swaziland...
    – Restioson
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 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. Commented Apr 9, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 14:39
  • Looks like 4 hops is possible, though (INU-BNE-SIN-ADD-SSG), so DOM is fiddlier than SSG in the end. Commented May 5, 2018 at 11:47
10

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.

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    This one's particularly interesting because so many of the stops are in the same country (USA). Commented Apr 10, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 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.

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    Vientiane is in Laos, though, so the distance from those smaller airports doesn't matter.
    – ajd
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 5:26
  • Right. Forgot it was about countries, rather than cities... Oops
    – user67108
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 5:34
  • Google Flights offers a VTE-BKK-LHR-GIG flight, which is only 3 hops.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 7:09

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