Holidays are over but let’s travel again with these unusual accounts and fun facts about airlines!
The smallest airline in the world
While no official document proves it, the national airline of Solomon Island in the Pacific Ocean, Solomon Airlines, is the smallest in the world. With only 4 planes, the airline deals with a fair number of flights with 29 destinations in Oceania. Although it’s tiny, Solomon Airlines is the only access to Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, as it’s the only airline to land there.
In 2013, Solomon Airlines sold a Bombardier Dash8Q-100 to New Guinea and has seen its fleet reduced by 20%!
The longest strike in civil aviation
No, France doesn’t hold the record for the longest strike in airlines history. That record belongs to the American pilots of former airline, Southern Airways with an 838 day strike, from June 1960 to September 1962; in other words 2 years, 3 months and 16 days! The strike began over salaries and working conditions, however it quickly escalated and concerned the status of pilots reinstated in the company and their seniority.
The longest commercial flight
The record for the longest commercial flight is held by Singapore Airlines with a flight that went from Newark airport in New York to Singapore (15 348km) in 18 hours and 55 minutes! Since the end of 2013, the flight is no longer available. The current longest flight is held by Royal Brunei Airlines which operates flights from London to Brunei Sultanate (11 296 km), a small state in South-East Asia, in 17 hours and 20 minutes.
The oldest airline
KLM airlines, created on October 7th 1919 is the oldest airline still currently in business, beginning just after World War I. KLM has since merged with Air France in 2004 to give birth to the group, Air France-KLM, which is also currently one of the largest airlines in the world.
Airlines that check their passenger’s weight
On August 7th 2015, the Uzbek National airlines, Uzbekistan Airways announced it would start weighing their passengers to calculate the total weight of planes before take off and thus “apply necessary measures to ensure the security of the flights”. To reassure future passengers, it also announced this personal data would remain strictly confidential. However, the airline has not yet specified if flight ticket price will vary in accordance with passenger weight.
Not the case for Samoa Air, the Samoa Islands airline, well-known for weighing their passengers and applying separate fees according to body and baggage weight. Keep in mind that Samoa Islands suffers from a severe obesity epidemic with over 80% of the population overweight.
The smallest number of passengers on a commercial flight
New Yorker, Chris O’Leary, was very surprised to find himself completely alone when boarding his flight bringing him back to New York from Cleveland with Delta Airlines. Due to difficult weather conditions the flight was delayed by 6 hours with all the other passengers asking to be transferred to another flight.
No, I’m not joking. I’m the only one on this plane. pic.twitter.com/UcZ8BZLop1
— Chris O’Leary (@ohhleary) 12 Janvier 2015
As a media personality, he seized the occasion to share this experience on Twitter with a tweet that quickly spread throughout the world.
Once boarded he did not actually have to travel alone. As safety instructions had just been announced, the pilot let another passenger in so there were 2!
The cheapest flight in the world?
Thanks to Ryanair, an internet user could order return tickets for a Strasbourg-London flight for 5.98€! Was it a software mistake on the booking website of the Irish Airline? No, Ryanair sometimes proposes flash sales for flights from Strasbourg to London Stansted which was the case this summer for flights in June and July.
And just in case you don’t believe it, here is a video of this anonymous man who wanted to immortalise the moment:
The most expensive flight ticket in the world
Etihad, the National airline of United Emirates, unveiled the first private multi-room cabin in the world in a commercial plane last year. With its 12sqm, this suite includes a living corner, a bedroom with double bed, a bathroom and a butler. All of this for just 25 000 USD for a one-way ticket.
Here is the video visit of these luxury flying bedrooms:
The youngest commercial airline pilot in history
In 2013, the Irish company Ryanair, known for their low-cost flights and unique buzz, succeeded in a great self-promotion announcement when it hired the youngest pilot in civil aviation history. Ryan Irwin was only 19 years old when he signed with the famous airline. The young man had just received his pilot diploma from the prestigious Oxford Academy only 3 months before and could start to fly in September of the same year!
The safest airline in the world
In 2015, Qantas Airways was nominated safest airline by AirlineRatings.com, which evaluates the security of every airline in the world each year. With no lethal accidents in the last 50 years, Qantas Airways obviously won 1st place, immediately followed by Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Emirates.
The most punctual airline
Every year, FlightStats scans thousands of flights in real time to evaluate airlines, starting with their punctuality. In 2014 the Dutch airline KLM was found to be the most punctual in the large international airlines category, with 88.66% on time arrivals, immediately followed by Scandinavian Airlines with 88.62% and Iberia with 88.46%.
For the low-cost companies, it’s Iberia Express with 93.84% punctuality, followed by Air Baltic and Thaï AirAsia.