While doing research for another story last night I started looking at the 787 schedules and all the routes published. I was initially focused on longer routes (I’m looking at growth in aviation to secondary markets facilitated by the Dreamliner) but that meant showing all the data and sorting it. Curiosity got the better of me and so I scrolled from the longest flight (LAX-MEL on UA) to the other end of the list. At which point I was pretty sure I found an error in the data. Surely there was no scheduled commercial flight on a 787 which is only 16 miles long, is there?!?
Yes. Yes, there is.
Ethiopian Airlines uses its 787s on some intra-Africa flights, including service to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and to Brazzaville, Congo. The two airports are only 16 miles apart and, on some days, the 787 makes the hop between the two airports. I was doubtful but, sure enough, it shows up on flight tracking sites like FlightRadar24.com.
I saw it on the timetable and tried to find seats for the flight but was unable to do so. It seems that there are no 5th Freedom rights available for selling seats only on the short hop. But the flight definitely does operate; it can be purchased as part of a trip to/from Addis Ababa.
Still plenty longer than the world’s shortest commercial flight, between Westray and Papa Westray in the Orkeny Islands:
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