British Airways Launches Airline’s Shortest Flight at Just 54 Miles

Mar 24, 2019

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British Airways has announced that the airline will begin direct flights between Bahrain (BAH) and Dammam, Saudi Arabia (DMM), late this year. The route will become British Airway’s shortest route in the airline’s global route network.

British Airways already serves Bahrain from its hub at London-Heathrow (LHR), however, the airline does not currently serve Dammam. The new route will bring the airline’s total number of destinations in Saudi Arabia to three.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia, is considered the center of Saudi Arabia’s massive oil industry. The city is also the capital of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and the sixth largest city in the country, with more than one million residents. Currently, British Airways provides passengers headed to Dammam the option to fly to Bahrain and reserve a limo upon arrival. British Airways hopes its new service to Dammam will provide a more seamless experience for travelers bound for the city.

At just 54-miles apart, the drive from Bahrain International Airport to Dammam is a little over an hour. However, since British Airways already operates daily year-round flights to Bahrain, the airline is able to use the same aircraft to continue on to Dammam, thus eliminating the need for limo transfers.

One of Gulf Air's nonstop flights between DMM and BAH (Image via Flightradar24)
One of Gulf Air’s nonstop flights between DMM and BAH (Image via Flightradar24)

Note that the flight between Bahrain and Dammam cannot be booked individually. To fly on the 54-mile flight, passengers must select Dammam or London as their arrival or departure city as British Airways does not have rights to transfer passengers solely between Bahrain and Dammam.

Travelers who book British Airways’ new London-Bahrain-Dammam service will get to experience the 54-mile flight between the two Middle Eastern cities aboard a Boeing 777-200 featuring economy, premium economy, business and first class. The new Bahrain to Dammam flights will replace British Airways’ current shortest route: Antigua (ANU) to Saint Kitt’s (SKB) at 62 miles.

British Airways currently shows a 50-minute scheduled flight time for the route. In terms of services offered during this short flight, a spokesperson for BA speculated that it would be similar to a UK domestic flight with a similar flight time. Gulf Air, which operates multiple daily nonstops between Bahrain and Dammam, has scheduled flights operating at just 35 minutes gate-to-gate. A few recent Bahrain to Dammam flights operated by Gulf Air were even completed in less than 15 minutes, with an average flight time of around 20 minutes.

LONDON, UK: British Airways 777-300 G-STBL at London Heathrow on 12 August 2014 (Picture by: Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways 777-300 at London Heathrow (Image by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

While 54 miles might seem short, there are other airlines operating even shorter routes. Notable flights include:

  • 1.7 miles (and shortest flight): Westray (WRY) to Papa Westray (PPW), ~1-minute flight time on LoganAir
  • 7 miles: Minami-Daito (MMD) to Kitadaito (KTD), ~15 minutes flight time on Ryukyu Air Commuter
  • 9 miles: Hoolehua (MKK) to Kalaupapa (LUP), ~10 minutes flight time on Mokulele Airlines
  • 12 miles: Karpathos (AOK) to Kasos Island (KSJ), ~10 minutes flight time on Sky Express
  • 43 miles (and shortest intercontinental flight): Tangiers (TNG) to Gibraltar (GIB), ~35 minutes flight time on Royal Air Maroc

British Airways flights from London to Dammam with a connection in Bahrain begin December 1, 2019. Tickets are on sale now with round-trip tickets starting at $737 USD for economy class, $3,008 for business class, and $4,990 for first class.

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Featured image by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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