BACKGROUND: Airbus industries is currently developing a 2-story, 555 passenger super jumbo jet called the A-380. The jet, which is scheduled for introduction into commercial service in 2006, has a range of 14,000km. Currently, the Boeing 747-400 has a range of 13,570km. (This information taken from the Airbus and Boeing web pages.)
Boeing is considering a number of options for new or redesigned aircraft to compete with the A-380, but is also considering focusing on other markets (such as high-speed passenger aircraft).
Additionally, there are other factors which figure in to the longest available passenger flight, such as airspace restrictions and lack of ATC services over polar routes, and the ETOPS rule for twin-engine aircraft. (Basically, a twin-engine jet must be within 138 minutes of a an airport at any given time.)
Currently, the longest regularly-scheduled commercial flight is Atlanta to Johannesburg (ATL-JNB), offered by South African Airways on a Boeing 747-400, at 13,568km.
THE CLAIM: This is a scaled claim based on the longest regularly-scheduled terrestrial commercial passenger flight operating before 12:01AM, January 1st, 2012. The payout on the claim will be calculated as:
(X - 13,568km) / 5000km
...where X is the distance in kilometers between the origin and destination. The source for X will be the Great Circle Mapper at http://gc.kls2.com; however, if this is not available, the judge may substitute mileage information from an alternate source, such as the airline itself. (Additional kilometers flown due to weather or ATC regulations are ignored; the claim focuses only on the fixed distance between the airports.)
If any flight should exceed 18,568km, the claim will be judged as 1.00.
For example, here are some potential non-stop routes and their potential value to this claim:
13,568km -- Atlanta to Johannesburg (ATL-JNB), current longest
15,348km -- New York to Singapore (JFK-SIN) FX$0.36
16,001km -- New York to Sydney (JFK-SYD) FX$0.49
16,958km -- Boston to Melbourne (BOS-MEL) FX$0.68
18,319km -- Tokyo to Buenos Aires (NRT-EZE)FX$0.95
18,346km -- London to Aukland (LHR-AKL) FX$0.96
18,674km -- Boston to Perth (BOS-PER)FX$1.00
19,235km -- Beijing to Buenos Aires (PEK-EZE) FX$1.00
-- The flight must have been completed non-stop succesfully at least four times by 1/1/12.
-- The flight does NOT have to be non-stop in both directions.
-- The flight must be a regularly-scheduled commercial passenger flight. Specifically:
(1) It must occur regularly according to a published regular schedule. Charters and one-time flights do not count.
(2) Tickets on the flight must be available for purchase by the general public. Government, private, and freight flights are irrelevant to the claim.
(3) It must be terrestrial. (eg. Civilian trips on Russian spacecraft don't count. Nor would service to the ISS, moon, or Mars.)
-- The flight MAY be seasonal service (i.e. flown only in a specific season due to weather conditions or passenger demand.)