What Are The World’s Shortest International Routes?

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At Simple Flying, we report a lot on the world’s longest airline routes. But what about the flipside? What about the world’s shortest international airline routes? OAG released a swag of data last week about flying in 2019, including information on some very short flights.

But things have changed in the airline world since 2019. When researching this story, we didn’t look at who’s flying this month. Given the state of the aviation industry, current flying activity (or the lack of it) isn’t a reflection of “regular” flying activity.

When this story talks about what airline is flying where, we decided to look at a two-week window towards the end of September 2020, and accessed that information via Google Flights. 

We combined that information with the OAG data. So, with that in mind, here’s a look at the world’s shortest international airline routes.

The tenth shortest international airline route is 78 miles

At 78 miles, the hop between Stuggart (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) is the world’s tenth shortest international flight. Helvetic operates this sector on behalf of SWISS / Lufthansa. Flying time is 50 minutes. This is one of two European sectors among the world’s top ten shortest international routes.

The ninth shortest international route is between Cotonou (Benin) and Lome (Togo). This sector is just 69 miles. Usually, you can pick up a direct flight on ASKY Airlines- an airline based in Lome which flies around Central and West Africa. The airline takes 40 minutes to jet between the two cities with a Boeing 737.

Shortest-International-Routes
 You can pick up an ASKY Airlines flight to Cotonou out of Lome Airport. Photo: Hansueli Krapf via Wikimedia Commons.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we have the sector between Aruba and Curacao- two island territories in the Caribbean. At just 64 miles, this is the eighth shortest international airline route. A lot of the flights between these two airports involve a bit of island hopping, but St. Maarten based Winair does operate the sector nonstop using ATR42s. Flying time is 40 minutes.