Which is the shortest scheduled airline flight?
The Loganair Westray to Papa Westray route is the shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world. Flights on this route are scheduled for one and a half minutes, and actual flying time is closer to one minute. The record for the fastest flight is 53 seconds. The route is flown by Loganair, a Scottish regional airline that serves Scotland’s Highlands and islands. It costs 1485 Rs.
The route between the Orkney Islands of Westray and Papa Westray is a subsidized public service obligation. The Orkney Islands Councilawards the route, along with several other routes throughout the islands, through a tendering process. The flights began in 1967, establishing the record for the world’s shortest scheduled flights, and they have been continuously operated by Loganair. In 2013, the contract was again awarded to Loganair over two competing bids.
Flights between Westray and Papa Westray occur daily in both directions, except on Saturdays, when only flights from Westray to Papa Westray are available, and on Sunday, when only flights from Papa Westray to Westray are available. The total distance covered by the flights is 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi), which is about the same length as the runway at Edinburgh airport.
Pilot Stuart Linklater flew the short hop a record more than 12,000 times, more than any other pilot, before he retired in 2013. Linklater set the record for the fastest flight between the islands at 53 seconds.
Many students and their teachers take these flights to study the 60 archaeological sites on Papa Westray, making up the majority of passengers. Occasionally health professionals are needed to assist one of the island’s 90 residents, and patients will also take the flight from Papa Westray to medical facilities when needed. The flight has also become popular among tourists.
Loganair operates this flight with one of its two Pilatus Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander aircraft. The Islander is a high-wing, twin piston engine, propeller-driven aircraft. It is flown by a single pilot, and there is seating for eight passengers in the passenger cabin. One additional seat usually remains empty next to the pilot.
Loganair’s chief executive, Jim Cameron, described the Islander as “robust” and “well suited to the vagaries of Scottish weather”. Summarizing expert opinion of the Islander, Alastair Dalton of The Scotsman said the aircraft “had a good safety record and had proved versatile in operating from the shortest and roughest Highland runways”
The flight numbers change daily and repeat with a weekly cycle. Loganair Flight 312 departs from Westray Airport to Papa Westray Airport on Monday morning, and Flight 317 returns to Westray that afternoon. On Tuesdays through Fridays, the flight numbers to Papa Westray are 323, 333, 343, and 353. The return flight numbers are 328, 338, 348, and 358. Flight 362 or 363 is the Saturday flight from Westray to Papa Westray, and on Sundays, Flight 378 is the return flight to Westray.