In aviation, the flight length is defined as the time airborne during a flight.
Short-haul flight: <3 hours Medium-haul flight: 3 to 6 hours Long-haul flight: >6 hours
A short-haul domestic flight is commonly categorized into being no longer than 500 mi (800 km) 1.5 hours in length, meaning that all domestic flights within a country such as the United Kingdom are short-haul. In addition to this criterion, the destination airport must be in the same country as the departure airport. Domestic flights can vary greatly in length due to some countries being larger than others.
A short-haul flight is defined by the UK Treasury as a flight under 2000 miles in distance. In the United Kingdom, HM Treasury levy Air Passenger Duty on all flights, according to banding by distance.
A medium-haul flight is a flight between 3 and 6 hours.
Great circle distance and other factors
A flight will typically take a direct route to minimise flight length. For long-haul flights, the most direct route is a great circle around the curvature of the earth. For example, aircraft travelling west between continents in the northern hemisphere will often follow paths extending northward near or into the arctic region. The resulting route, when shown on a projected map of the world, will appear curved (despite being the shortest route). The great-circle distance between airports may therefore give an approximation of flight length.
However, a flight route will also take into account weather conditions, and air currents. A transcontinental flight in an Easterly direction will often take a more southerly route to take advantage of the jet stream.
- List of short-haul civilian aircraft post war
- List of short-haul regional airliners
- List of short-haul narrow-body airliners
- List of ultra long-haul civilian aircraft post war
- Regional airliner
- Wide-body aircraft
- Non-stop flight
- Flight distance record
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