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Top 14: Longest United Airlines Flights In the World

Top 14: Longest United Airlines Flights In the World

by jeffreySeptember 1, 2016

(Updated 9/1/16):

  • Added SFO-SIN
  • Added TLV-SFO
  • Removed IAD-DXB

I recently researched and completed a list outlining the longest Delta flights in the world and was surprised to see that Delta is considered to be one of the biggest airlines in the world based upon a number of metrics. However, I also became curious about the other U.S. based carriers.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Top 7: Longest domestic US flights
  2. Top 10: Longest Domestic Flights in the World
  3. Top 12: Longest Non-Stop Delta Flights in the World
  4. Top 15: Longest Fifth Freedom Flights in the World
  5. Top 10: World’s longest non-stop flights
  6. Top 16 Longest Emirates Fifth Freedom Routes: Coming to a City Near You

Delta might have United beat based upon number of passengers:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.38.26 AM

Delta carried 164.6 million passengers in 2013 vs United’s 139.2 million

But United excels based upon passenger-miles flown:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.38.44 AM

In 2013 United had 330 million passenger kilometers flows vs Delta’s 313 million

A few interesting points from this list:

  • While United loves their Boeing 777-200s, we’re starting to see a shift to the B787. It used to be that of the 18 longest United flights, 13 were operated using the B777-200ER aircraft. They have about 74 of them in their fleet, making up about 10% of the total aircraft. But now, out of 18 flights, 6 are operated by B787s and 10 are flown on B777s.
  • Although most of the hubs make an appearance a few times on this list, the Houston-IAH hub has the fewest ultra-long haul flights, making an appearance only once.
  • It makes sense that United beats Delta based upon passenger-miles flown. For example, United has about 18 flights that are longer than 6,500 miles vs Delta’s 10 flights above that threshold.
  • Of their 23 B787-9s on order, United has already taken delivery of 18 of them. And as expected, they’ve been adding more ultra-long haul routes between unique city pairs (San Francisco to Tel Aviv, for example).

Top 14 Longest Non-Stop United Flights

(Update 9/1/16):
1. San Francisco, CA-SFO –> Singapore-SIN takes place as the new #1 longest United route with 8,446 miles (13,593 km) aboard a new B787-9. The route, UA flight # 1 or UAL1, is scheduled at 16 hr 35 min. Service began on June 1, 2016, and United is tied with Singapore Airlines for 3rd longest flight in the world on this route.


2. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Hong Kong-HKG is currently 2nd longest United flight in the world at 8,065 miles (12,979 km). The 15 hr 50 min flight is operated by United’s B777-200. UAL179 (UA flight # 179) is also tied with Cathay Pacific for the 14th longest flight in the world.


3. Los Angeles-LAX –> Melbourne, Australia-MEL clocks in as United 3rd longest flight. Scheduled service began on October 26, 2014 and was made possible by the airline’s shiny new Boeing 787-9. UA flight #98 (UAL98) will take 15 hr 45 min to cover 7,921 mi (12,748 km). Shared with Qantas, this is currently the 23rd longest flight in the world.


4. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Bombay, India-BOM has a scheduled duration of 15 hr 50 min for the 7,807 mile (12,564 km) journey. Coded as UAL49 (UA Flight # 49), the flight is operated by a Boeing 777-200. This is also the 26th longest flight in the world, shared with Air India.


5. Chicago, IL – O’Hare-ORD –> Hong Kong-HKG is also operated by a B777-200. UA flight # 895 covers 7,794 miles (12,543 km) during the 15 hr 55 min flight. Cathay Pacific is tied with United for this route in sharing the 27th longest flight in the world.


6. Los Angeles-LAX –> Sydney, Australia-SYD, UA flight # 839 (UAL839) scheduled flight time is 15 hr 05 min. A Boeing 787-9 covers the 7,488 mile (12,051 km) route.


(Update 9/1/16):
7. Tel Aviv-TLV –>San Francisco, CA-SFO became the 7th longest United flight when it began service on March 30, 2016. The 7,422 mile (11,936 km) flight is operated by a B787-9. The route, UA flight # 955 or UAL955, is scheduled at 15 hr 05 min.


8. San Francisco, CA-SFO –> Sydney, Australia-SYD comes in at number 6 with 7,417 miles (11,936 km) aboard a B787-9. The route, UA flight # 863 or UAL863, is scheduled at 14 hr 55 min.


9. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Shanghai, China-PVG covers a distance of 7,384 miles (11,883 km) during the 14 hr 55 min flight. UA flight # 86 (UAL86) is flown on a, you guessed it, B777-200.


10. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Delhi, India-DEL, aka UA flight # 83 (UAL83) makes for the 2nd non-stop US to India destination coming in at 7,324 miles (11,787 km). A B777-200 operates the 15 hr 15 min flight. 



11. Chicago, IL – O’Hare-ORD –> Shanghai, China-PVG breaks up the B777-200 trend and finally gives us a route operated by a Boeing 747-400. UA flight # 835 (UAL835) lasts appx 14 hr 10 min covering 7,057 miles (11,357 km).


12. San Francisco, CA-SFO –> Hong Kong-HKG aka UAL869  (UA flight # 869) is the second (and final) B747-400 route on this list at 6,927 miles (11,148 km). The flight is scheduled to take 14 hr 15 min.


13. Washington, D.C. – Dulles-IAD –> Beijing, China-PEK has a scheduled flying time of 14 hr 00 min under UA flight # 807 (UAL807). The 6,921 mile (11,138 km) route is operated by a Boeing 777-200.


14. San Francisco, CA-SFO –> Chengdu, China-CTU rounds out the (self-admittedly arbitrarily) cutoff list at number 14. It is also United’s 6th longest Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight at 14 hr 20 min. UA flight # 9 (UAL) covers 6,870 miles (11,056 km).




Other notable mentions

15. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Beijing, China-PEK. The 6,831 miles (10,993 km) long route is coded as UA flight # 89 (UAL89) with a duration of 13 hr 50 min aboard the B777-200.


The next 3 are grouped together since they’re all United hubs to Tokyo-NRT. I find it pretty interesting that all of the flights are within about 100 miles of each other:

16. Washington, D.C. – Dulles-IAD –> Tokyo, Japan-NRT = UA flight # 803 (UAL803) and covers 6,753 miles (10,868 km) over 14 hr 05 min on a B777-200.
17. Newark, NJ-EWR –> Tokyo, Japan-NRT = UA flight # 79 (UAL79) and covers 6,732 miles (10,834 km) over 14 hr 00 min on a B777-200.
18. Houston, TX-IAH –> Tokyo, Japan-NRT = UA flight # 7 (UAL7) and covers 6,643 miles (10,691 km) over 13 hr 45 min on a B777-200.


19. Chicago, IL – O’Hare-ORD –> Beijing, China-PEK = 6,579 mi (10,588 km)

Discontinued longest non-stop United Flights

The only discontinued ultra-long haul United flight I could find data was JFK-HKG, if you know of any others, please post them in the comment section below!

New York, NY – Kennedy-JFK –> Hong Kong-HKG was one of the shortest lived ultra-long haul flights in history. UA Flight #821 (UAL821) began service on April 1, 2001 and was cancelled within 5 months. The 8,072 mile (12,991 km) flight held the record as the longest flight in the world when it first began. Those that flew this rare route spent appx 15 hr 40 min aboard a Boeing 747-400.


(Update 9/1/16):
Washington, D.C. – Dulles-IAD –> Dubai, United Arab Emirates-DXB
 used to be United’s 9th longest flight before it was cancelled on Jan 23, 2016. When operating, it was scheduled to take 14 hr 25 min aboard a Boeing 777-200. UA flight # 977 (UAL977) covered a distance of 7,069 miles (11,376 km). Interestingly, this was the only route that United fly to Dubai-DXB and now there are none.



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