If you need to cross the shallow water that divides two small Orkney Islands north of Scotland, your best option is to book a flight on a Loganair Britten-Norman Islander to make the overseas journey.
The airline has operated the 1.7-mile route since 1967, and currently, holds the Guinness World Record for the shortest scheduled air service.
The 1.7-mile distance that spans the Westray Airport and the Papa Westray airport takes all of two minutes to complete the flight, but under ideal wind conditions, it can be flown in as little as 47 seconds. A one-way excursion will set you back a mere $30. You could take the 20-minute ferry, but why would you want to?
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director, said:
“The route is a jewel in our network and known across the world.
Loganair is Scotland’s domestic airline and franchise partner with Flybe. They operate two de Havilland Twin Otters and two Britten Norman Islander BN-2s, plus a handful of Saab 340 twin-engine turboprops to haul passengers around the island nation. The BN-2 is ideally suited to transport you and seven of your closest friends to the little Papa Westray that has nearly as many archaeological sites as it does residents.
“It’s used by teachers, doctors, policemen and school pupils, helping them to go about their daily routines with ease and simplicity.”
According to the most recent census data from 2011, the tiny island’s population is now at a whopping 90 people, up from 65 in 2001. At just over four miles long and one mile wide, the 2,270-acre island is home to 60 archaeological sites with preserved homes exceeding 5,500 years old. While a majority of passengers are education personnel and the occasional health professionally or patient, the island had become a popular tourist attraction when the airline began offering day trips to customers.
Loganair has been operating a flight to the island for around 50 years, with one pilot accumulated 12,000 trips during his 24 years of employment.