It’s neck and neck, but the route from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia, totals 15½ hours from gate to gate, beating out the flight from Toronto to Hong Kong by 15 minutes. The “as the crow flies” distance is slightly shorter on the Vancouver–Sydney route (6,741 nautical miles versus 6,787), but such factors as routing and winds affect the duration. The Toronto to Hong Kong flight, for instance, usually heads over the North Pole because it’s the shortest distance, otherwise, the flight is easily the longest, clocking in at about 16¼ hours. Both routes require four pilots working shifts of two.
Photo: Reynard Li
Doug Morris is an author, meteorologist, instructor and Air Canada captain on the Boeing 787.