Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a quick plane trip. It started on a Scottish island….and ended less than a minute later on a different island. This my friends is the twice-daily flight from Westray to Papa Westray, the world’s shortest flight.
This 1.7-mile (2.7km) flight in Scotland’s Orkney Islands takes a mere 47 seconds if the wind is on your side. Including taxiing and landing the official flight time is rounded up to two minutes. In other words, don’t expect any in-flight service.
It costs £36 ($45 USD) for a round-trip ticket aboard the 8-passenger Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander aircraft.
Worried about pollution? The world’s shortest flight burns just 10kg of fuel — about £15 worth. By comparison, a Boeing 747 requires 1.5 tons of fuel just to takeoff. (The runway is around the same distance as this entire flight.)
Loganair, which operates the daily flights, is reportedly planning to introduce electric aircraft to the Orkney Islands by 2021. The short distance between islands make such flights possible, and this route could be one of the first.
Westray Airport is not only the home of the world’s shortest commercial flight, it is also the location of the world’s shortest commercial runway — a mere 234m (768ft).
Flights between these two Scottish islands first began in 1967 and from the looks of the airport, not much has changed in the last half century.
Papa Westray Airport
Papa Westray Airport offers flights to nearly twice as many destinations as Westray Airport. Passengers here have the choice of three exciting Orkney destinations, one more than offered at Westray. Jackpot!
This route has even been certified by Guinness World Records. It is officially the world’s shortest commercial flight. First-time flyers even receive a certificate of completion with their name on it.
Video Of The World’s Shortest Flight
If you have a minute to spare, you can watch a video of the entire flight right now:
What To Do In Papa Westray?
With a total size of 3.5 square miles and a population of 90 people, there is not a lot of action to be found on Papa Westray. It’s big claim to fame (and I use that phrase lightly) is the oldest preserved house in northern Europe, dating back to around 3500 BC.
The island was also one of the last places where where the great auk was found, before it went extinct mid-1800’s. The great auk looks almost exactly like a penguin and is the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus. Penguins were actually named after the great auk by sailors who spotted the physical resemblance. Anyway, while here you might as well check out the great auk statue. It’s….great.