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The largest countries in the world have some long domestic flights. You can be in the air for more than eight hours just to get from one end of China or Russia to the other. But the absolute longest “domestic” flights are when airplanes fly between a mainland and distant islands. If you want to fly nonstop from New York to Hawaii or from Paris to Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, then buckle up. You’ll be flying for over 11 hours. And neither of these flights can touch the 16-hour “domestic” flight Air Tahiti Nui ran regularly for a while.

But first, the honorable mentions. China is a 3,100-mile-wide country. It is also 3,500 miles tall. So its total landmass is an impressive 3.7 million square miles. There are many long domestic flights in China. But the longest flight ferries vacationers from the northern city of Harbin to the tropical island of Hainan. You’ll travel the 2,048 mile distance in just over eight hours.

The skyline of Honolulu Hawaii, the Pacific Ocean visible in the background.
Honolulu Hawaii | Zetong Li via Unsplash

Russia is absolutely enormous, stretching 5,600 miles east to west. It covers 6.6 million square miles. The Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky actually lies far east of Japan. Want to fly there from Moscow? The 4,202-mile trip will take you nine hours and 10 minutes.

While China and Russia may have more ultra-long domestic flight routes, the U.S.A. does have Hawaii. Most visitors fly into Los Angeles, then take the five hour and 50 minute flight to Hawaii. But there are roughly one dozen direct flights from New York to Hawaii each week. The 5,000-mile trip takes around 11 hours, often advertised as 11 hours and 20 minutes. But with the right winds, some planes land in a mere 10 hours and 45 minutes.

Boeing jet airplane flying over clouds.
Boeing 787-9 | Tahiti Nui Air

The country of France includes the European mainland and 1,300 islands. Now, 891 of these are relatively nearby in the Atlantic Ocean. But Réunion is an island near Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, with 146,985 inhabitants. And even though it is 5,815 miles from Paris, it is part of France. Flights from Saint-Denis, the capital Réunion, to Paris are advertised with times ranging from 11 hours and 20 minutes to 11 hours and 40 minutes.

But there is one part of France that is even farther away: French Polynesia. Air Tahiti Nui is an airline that offers service between Paris and Polynesia. Usually, this 9,000-mile flight stops in Los Angeles to pick up fuel and let the passengers stretch their legs. But during March and April 2020, the U.S. banned European travelers from stopping over. So Air Tahiti Nui limited the number of tickets from 240 down to 150, didn’t take on any extra luggage, and regularly flew from Tahiti to Paris in a single go. That incredibly long “domestic” flight lasted 16 hours and 20 minutes.

Next, read about the longest international commercial flight, or see why super-long flights are growing more common in the video below: