I’m always fascinated by the extremes in civil aviation. From the shortest A380 flight to the longest non-stop route in the world, I often wonder how the industry put them all together, and what kind of business sense they make. To me, Some flights are so cool and “out there” that they are almost “destinations” in and of themselves.
An Austrian airline, People’s Viennaline, is launching service between St Gallen, Switzerland (ACH) and Friedrichshafen, Germany (FDH). The flight is only 13 miles, and the flying time will be just 8 minutes. The route is starting up on October 31, at which point it will be the shortest international flight. People’s is operating this route twice daily, using an Embraer 135 configured with 50 Economy seats.
Since the route will fly over Lake Constance, it actually does provide a shortcut compared to driving. The two airports are about 60 km, or a one-hour drive, from each other. However, when you add in security and waiting, it’s probably much easier to just drive. Since both Germany and Switzerland are in the Schengen area, there is no passport control.
The airline’s rationale to launching the flight seems to be connecting passengers from St. Gallen onwards, since the aircraft will continue to Cologne after stopping at Friedrichshafen.
Currently, the record for the shortest international flight
was between Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia. The route was launched in 2015, but is no longer operating. is between Brazzaville, Congo and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. If you want to try out this new shortest international flight, tickets are already on sale. It’s worth noting that only flights after November 2 is bookable, and a one-way will set you back 40 euros.