During oceanic crossings, there are limited to no terrestrial radio communications available, so I would think that most flight routes are designed to minimize ocean crossing time.

Which commercial flight route have the longest oceanic crossing?

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Most of the flight routes are designed to minimize fuel burn and if it takes the plane over the ocean, so be it. Communication is restricted, but HF radio works and so do satellite links. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Are there diversion points for southern Pacific great circle route flights? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jun 24, 2015 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ As a sidenote there is notion called ETOPS which may modify the optimal flight path (along with the weather), depending on the aircraft and airline and they may need to use different routing because of ETOPS certificate $\endgroup$
    – Bela Vizer
    Jul 16, 2018 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ Note that on transoceanic routes, airplanes use HF radio, which bounces off the ionosphere and thus allows it to reach over the horizon for very long distances. Most modern airliners also have satellite links. So, they are free to fly whatever route works best for weather (within ETOPS limits). $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Mar 18, 2020 at 2:35

4 Answers 4


For the longest Oceanic Crossing, the following are the top three contenders:

  1. Sydney to Vancouver
  2. Melbourne to Los Angeles
  3. Auckland to Vancouver

Out of this, 1 and 2 pass over a few islands on their way, 3 does not pass over any landmass.

Have a look at this : www.gcmap.com

Image :

GCMAP of flights
(Image Source: www.gcmap.com)

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that the actual routes flown by aircraft reflect current weather patterns, and can vary considerably from the great circle path. For example, AKL-YVR frequently goes west of Hawaii. $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2015 at 22:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Air Canada Melbourne-Vancouver is probably the longest. Quibbling as to whether it might pass over an island is pointless! $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2018 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Currently not operated but there are longer routes such as CPT-JFK (Cape Town to New York) 7,797 mi OR SCL-NRT (Santiago to Tokyo) 10,666 m $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2020 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ I do wonder if JNB-ATL (currently flown by Delta) would be in the running - 8400 miles but some of that is over land. Within South Africa, Cape Town is better situated for this, and Delta and United are soon starting to fly ATL-CPT and IAD-CPT respectively: routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/298357/… $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2022 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ ATL-CPT is 8130 miles (Atlanta is perhaps 250 miles inland) and IAD-CPT is 7925 (IAD is about 150 miles inland). By comparison YVR-SYD is 7757. $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2022 at 14:45

In the past, Singapore Airlines used to have service from Newark Liberty to Singapore Changi Airport and back. Flights 21 and 22 respectively. The travel time from one point to the other was 18.5 hours long...the longest ever passenger flight time in all of history. This was discontinued in 2013.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Note, though, that that flight didn't actually cross as much water as you might think. It went over the Arctic Ocean, not the Pacific. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Oct 26, 2015 at 18:38

The Qantas Sydney-Santiago service comes in at 7,060 miles (11,362 km) and certainly crosses some very remote stretches of ocean - http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=syd-scl%0D%0A&MS=wls&MP=p&DU=mi


There are also SIN-LAX or SIN-SFO handled by Singapore airlines or United. The flight time is around 17h. Singapore to New York would be even longer, but I am not sure if they fly over Pacific Ocean...


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