Every day, the people of Orkney Islands, in northern Scotland, hop on a plane that takes them from Westray to Papa Westray and then back. Covering a distance of merely 1.7 miles (nearly 2.7 km) in less than two minutes, it is famous for being the world’s shortest scheduled flight. However, under favorable wind conditions, the journey usually takes only around 47 seconds to complete.
Westray and Papa Westray are two of the many islands that make up the Orkney archipelago, off the northern coast of Scotland. The sixth largest island in the region, Westray has a net population of nearly 600 people. The latter, on the other hand, is home to just over 90 people. Measuring up to four miles in length and about a mile in width, Papa Westray is popular tourist destination, thanks to the long list of Neolithic archaeological sites present on the island. Chief attractions include the Knap of Howar farmstead, quite possibly the oldest stone house in all of northern Europe, and the Westray Wife, a Neolithic sandstone figurine believed to be the earliest of its kind found in Scotland.
Scottish airline, Loganair, has been offering cheap flights between Westray and Papa Westray, since 2011. Following its overwhelming success among tourists, Loganair was awarded a $5.2 million (approx. £3.3 million) contract, in 2013, to operate what is today the world’s shortest commercial flight. Furthermore, the runways, at both the islands, have since been upgraded, as part of a $475,000 development project by the Orkney Islands Council (OIC).
Today, 30-percent of the people, using the service, are teachers and students associated with the OIC’s education service. Other passengers include the staff and patients of the NHS Orkney. Tickets are available at around $30 per person.
Image Credits : Daily Mail