Time Needed to Complete a Trip Around the Globe by Air

Air Travel

By Christine Hitt

Have you ever wondered how long it would take to fly around the world? The idea of circumnavigating the entire globe is incredibly exciting, and many people dream of embarking on this epic journey. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or simply curious, calculating the approximate time it would take to fly around the world can help satisfy your wanderlust.

There are several factors that influence the total flight time around the world. Firstly, the route you choose to take will have a significant impact. The Earth is a sphere, so the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line but rather an arc. Therefore, the flight path you select can either shorten or lengthen your travel time.

The type of aircraft you are flying in also plays a crucial role in determining your travel time. Different planes have different cruising speeds, and some are faster than others. For example, a commercial jetliner typically flies at an average speed of around 500 to 600 miles per hour (800 to 965 kilometers per hour), whereas a supersonic jet like the Concorde can reach speeds of up to 1,350 miles per hour (2,180 kilometers per hour).

Another essential factor to consider is the number of layovers or stops you make along the way. Some travelers may choose to make several stops to explore different destinations, while others prefer a non-stop flight. Each layover adds time to your journey, as you have to factor in waiting times and possible delays.

Though it is difficult to provide an exact number, a rough estimate for flying around the world could range from 40 to 60 hours, depending on the variables mentioned above. However, it is important to note that this estimate does not include time spent on the ground during layovers or for visa processing, if necessary. Ultimately, the total time to fly around the world will vary based on individual preferences and circumstances.

Duration of a Round-the-World Flight

When planning a round-the-world trip, one of the key considerations is the duration of the flight. The amount of time it takes to fly around the world can vary depending on a number of factors, including the route, the number of stopovers, and the type of aircraft being used.

On average, a round-the-world flight can take anywhere from 36 to 48 hours. However, it’s important to note that this is just the time spent in the air. When accounting for layovers and time spent waiting at airports, the total duration of the journey can be significantly longer.

The exact duration of a round-the-world flight also depends on the specific route chosen. Some flights may take a more direct path, while others may have multiple stopovers and longer layovers. The choice of airlines and aircraft can also impact the duration of the journey.

For example, some airlines may offer round-the-world tickets that allow travelers to take multiple flights over a set period of time. These tickets often involve longer layovers and can extend the overall duration of the journey. On the other hand, travelers who opt for non-stop flights on faster aircraft may be able to complete a round-the-world trip in a shorter amount of time.

It’s worth noting that advancements in aircraft technology and airline services have made round-the-world flights more efficient and comfortable. With the introduction of new, fuel-efficient aircraft and improved in-flight amenities, passengers can now enjoy quicker and more pleasant journeys.

In conclusion, the duration of a round-the-world flight can vary depending on several factors. While the average time spent in the air may range from 36 to 48 hours, the total duration of the journey will be influenced by factors such as layovers, the chosen route, and the type of aircraft. Planning and research can help travelers determine the best option for their needs and preferences.

Factors Affecting Travel Time

Several factors affect the travel time when flying around the world. These factors can vary based on the route, the aircraft being used, and external circumstances.

1. Route: The flight path taken can significantly affect the travel time. Direct routes with fewer stopovers and layovers tend to be faster compared to routes with multiple connections.

2. Aircraft: The type of aircraft being used also plays a role in travel time. Modern, long-range planes are designed to fly faster and more efficiently, reducing overall travel time.

3. Weather conditions: Inclement weather, such as strong winds or storms, can result in delays or even rerouting, which can prolong travel time. On the other hand, favorable tailwinds can help shorten the duration of the journey.

4. Air traffic: The level of air traffic in the airspace can affect travel time. Congested airways may lead to air traffic control placing restrictions on flight speeds or forcing planes to take longer routes to avoid congestion.

5. Airport processes: The efficiency of airport processes, such as security checks, customs clearance, and baggage handling, can impact the overall travel time. Delays at airports can add several hours to the journey.

6. Timezone changes: Crossing time zones can result in jet lag and affect the perception of travel time. While the actual flight time may be shorter, the body’s adjustment to the new time zone can make the journey feel longer.

7. Flight duration and layovers: The length of each flight segment and the duration of layovers can affect the total travel time. Longer layovers or shorter flight durations can add or reduce travel time.

Taking these factors into consideration can help travelers plan their trip and estimate how many hours it will take to fly around the world.

Fastest Routes for Around-the-World Flights

When planning an around-the-world trip, choosing the fastest routes is essential to make the most of your time. Here are some of the quickest routes you can take to fly around the world.

1. Northern Hemisphere Route: This route takes you from New York to London, then to Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, and back to New York. It covers a distance of approximately 19,000 miles and can be completed in around 38 hours of flying time.

2. Southern Hemisphere Route: This route starts in Johannesburg, South Africa, then goes to Perth, Australia, followed by Auckland, New Zealand, Santiago, Chile, and finally back to Johannesburg. It covers a distance of about 24,000 miles and can be completed in around 45 hours of flying time.

3. Equator Route: This route follows the equator, taking you from Miami to São Paulo, then to Johannesburg, Mumbai, Bangkok, and finally back to Miami. It covers a distance of approximately 26,000 miles and can be completed in around 50 hours of flying time.

4. Eastern Hemisphere Route: This route starts in Dubai, then goes to Delhi, Hong Kong, Sydney, Los Angeles, and finally back to Dubai. It covers a distance of about 22,000 miles and can be completed in around 42 hours of flying time.

5. Western Hemisphere Route: This route takes you from Los Angeles to Tokyo, then to Beijing, Moscow, London, and finally back to Los Angeles. It covers a distance of approximately 20,000 miles and can be completed in around 40 hours of flying time.

These routes are just a few examples of the fastest ways to fly around the world. Depending on your starting and ending points, you can create custom routes that suit your travel preferences and time constraints. Remember to consider layovers and flight schedules when planning your around-the-world adventure!

Note: The flying times mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as weather conditions and airline schedules.

Longest Routes for Around-the-World Flights

When it comes to planning an around-the-world flight, you might wonder what the longest routes are. These are the routes that will take you on a journey across multiple continents and time zones, providing an opportunity to explore some of the most diverse and fascinating destinations on Earth.

One of the longest routes for around-the-world flights is the Great Circle Route, which starts in Los Angeles, California, and takes you through Asia, Europe, and Africa before returning back to Los Angeles. This route allows you to visit cities like Tokyo, London, and Johannesburg, experiencing a wide range of cultures and landscapes along the way.

Another long route is the Trans-Siberian Route, which begins in Moscow, Russia, and takes you through Siberia, Mongolia, China, and Southeast Asia, before finally reaching Sydney, Australia. This journey spans a vast distance and allows you to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Russian and Chinese landscapes, as well as the vibrant culture of Southeast Asia.

If you’re looking for a more tropical adventure, the Pacific Island Hopping Route is a great choice. This route takes you through the stunning islands of the Pacific, starting in Hawaii and making stops in Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, and Easter Island. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in crystal-clear waters, relax on beautiful beaches, and immerse yourself in the unique Polynesian cultures.

For those who prefer a mix of urban and natural settings, the Euro-African Route is a fantastic option. This route begins in Madrid, Spain, and takes you through major European cities like Rome, Paris, and Berlin, before crossing into Africa and visiting cities like Marrakech and Cape Town. This journey allows you to experience the rich history and architecture of Europe, as well as the vibrant markets and wildlife of Africa.

Whichever route you choose for your around-the-world flight, you can be sure that it will be a journey of a lifetime. From bustling metropolises to remote natural wonders, these routes offer a glimpse into the incredible diversity of our planet and the many wonders it has to offer.

When it comes to planning a round-the-world trip, choosing the right airlines can make all the difference. Whether it’s for cost, convenience, or customer service, there are a few airlines that stand out as popular choices among travelers.

1. Qatar Airways: With an extensive global network and excellent service, Qatar Airways is often a top choice for round-the-world travel. Their modern fleet, comfortable cabins, and top-notch amenities make for a pleasant and enjoyable journey.

2. Singapore Airlines: Singapore Airlines is known for its luxury offerings and exceptional customer service. Their long-haul flights provide a comfortable and relaxing experience, with spacious seats, delicious meals, and a wide range of entertainment options.

3. Emirates: Emirates is renowned for its high-quality service and impressive in-flight experience. From their luxurious first-class suites to their attentive cabin crew, Emirates delivers a premium travel experience for those embarking on a round-the-world adventure.

4. Air New Zealand: Air New Zealand offers a unique and memorable travel experience, especially for those planning a round-the-world trip that includes a visit to the beautiful country. With their friendly staff, delicious cuisine, and comfortable seating options, Air New Zealand is a popular choice for travelers.

5. Cathay Pacific: Cathay Pacific is known for its exceptional service and extensive route network. With comfortable seats, delicious meals, and a range of entertainment options, Cathay Pacific ensures a pleasant journey for travelers exploring the world.

When booking your round-the-world trip, consider these popular airlines and their offerings to ensure a fantastic travel experience.

Airline Features
Qatar Airways Extensive network, excellent service
Singapore Airlines Luxury offerings, exceptional customer service
Emirates High-quality service, impressive in-flight experience
Air New Zealand Unique travel experience, friendly staff
Cathay Pacific Exceptional service, extensive route network

Tips for Planning and Preparing for a Round-the-World Flight

Embarking on a round-the-world flight can be an exhilarating and once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, it also requires meticulous planning and careful preparation. Here are some tips to help you organize your adventure and ensure a smooth journey.

1. Research and plan your itinerary: Before you set off, spend some time researching the destinations you want to visit and plan your route accordingly. Consider the duration of your stay in each place, the availability of flights, and any visa requirements. This will help you create a realistic and efficient itinerary for your trip.

2. Book your flights in advance: Round-the-world flights are often cheaper when booked in advance, so make sure to secure your tickets early. Look for airlines that offer flexible options, allowing you to change your travel dates if needed. Don’t forget to check for any stopovers or layovers along the way, as these can affect your overall travel time.

3. Pack light: When traveling around the world, it’s important to pack light to avoid excessive baggage fees and make your journey more manageable. Take clothes and items that are versatile and can be easily mixed and matched. Remember to pack essential travel documents such as your passport, visas, and travel insurance.

4. Prepare for different climates: Depending on the countries you plan to visit, you may encounter various climates during your trip. Pack clothing suitable for both hot and cold weather, and don’t forget to bring appropriate footwear. It’s also a good idea to research the local customs and dress codes of the places you’ll be visiting.

5. Stay organized: As you’ll be traveling to multiple destinations, it’s essential to stay organized. Keep all your travel documents, tickets, and itineraries together in a secure folder or digital format. Make copies of important documents and store them separately in case of loss or theft. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of flight delays or cancellations.

6. Stay healthy: Long flights and traveling through different time zones can take a toll on your health. Stay hydrated during the journey, bring essential medications, and get a good night’s sleep before your flight. Consider getting travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, and familiarize yourself with any necessary vaccinations or health precautions for the countries you plan to visit.

7. Embrace the journey: Finally, remember to embrace the journey and enjoy the experience of traveling around the world. Keep an open mind, be prepared for unplanned adventures, and savor the unique cultures and experiences you’ll encounter along the way. Take the time to immerse yourself in each destination and create memories that will last a lifetime.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your round-the-world flight and ready to embark on a remarkable adventure. Remember to stay flexible, stay organized, and most importantly, have fun!


Cessna Caravan – landing at one of the highest airports in the world!

Photo of author

Christine Hitt

Christine Hitt, a devoted Hawaii enthusiast from Oahu, has spent 15 years exploring the islands, sharing her deep insights in respected publications such as Los Angeles Times, SFGate, Honolulu, and Hawaii magazines. Her expertise spans cultural nuances, travel advice, and the latest updates, making her an invaluable resource for all Hawaii lovers.

Leave a Comment