Today we will help you dispel some of your doubts, and we'll answer the question "What is a non-stop flight and what is a direct flight?". It is not a surprise that people often confuse these two, as the words “direct” and “non-stop” may seem a bit similar. You can actually find in dictionaries the word “direct” as a synonym for “non-stop”, meaning something uninterrupted.

When talking about air flights, you should know that there is a big difference between them. We are happy to familiarize you with these terms, as well as to tell you some interesting facts on this topic, such as what is the longest non-stop flight in the world. Read on to find out!

Which Are the Direct Flights?

When an airplane takes a direct route, you might think that it wouldn’t make any stops on its way. But, in fact, things are different. Direct flights are those which have at least a stop at the midpoint. This is happening when some passengers need to disembark the plane or get on it, while everyone else remains seated.

Which Are the Non-Stop Flights?

Now, we need to put direct vs non-stop flights, to make things clear. So, when a plane flies non-stop, it does what the name suggests: it doesn't make any stops when flying from point A to point B. In conclusion, the difference between non-stop and direct flights is that direct flights have stops, but non-stop flights have none.

What About Connecting Flights?

One more thing you should be informed of is that direct flights and connecting flights are not the same things either. In case your air travel requires a connecting flight, you’ll need to get off the plane to board another one in order to get to your destination. And sometimes different airlines and different terminals are involved in the process.

As you might already realize, a non-stop flight takes less time, but it usually costs more than a flight that connects the departure point and the destination through a hub city. Then, are direct flights cheaper? Yes! Do they take a greater amount of time to transport passengers? Certainly. Assuming that, you can choose between the two, depending on your priorities: whether you want to save up some money, or you need to get to your destination quickly.

Now that we cleared up the confusion between direct and non-stop flights, we can move onto the fun part. Probably you questioned yourself what the longest direct flight performed by an airplane is and you certainly want to know what is the world's longest non-stop commercial flight.

Currently, the longest direct flight with a stop is considered the one that takes place from London (LHR) to New Zealand (AKL) with a stop in LAX. The length of the flight from the origin to the hub city to the destination is calculated as to be 19,248 km (10,393 nmi). The overall duration of the flight is 26:25 hours, which makes it the longest flight by time.

Talking about non-stop flights that take place in the present day, the international air travel, performed by Singapore Airlines, which connects EWR (New Jersey) and SIN (Singapore), is considered the longest. The total length of the flight is 15,344 km (9,534 mi; 8,285 nmi), and it takes 18:30 to 18:45 hours, as scheduled, to cover the itinerary.

Those numbers are impressive! So, we hope we answered your questions, and we expanded your knowledge about air trips, and specifically about non-stop vs direct flights!

Last Updated on September 5, 2019.