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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

The World’s Worst Air Routes

Kangerlussuaq (SFJ) airport in Greenland doesn’t feature on any of these itineraries.


There are potentially some really bad air routes out there. Judging by the IATA airport codes, that is. I have earlier written a post about some of the most innovative itineraries you can fly, but there are of course also some less desireable ones.

Luckily, most are not operational due to distance between them or the obscurity of the airports involved. But with a private jet, you can fly many of these. Some will however require aerial refuelling.

  1. IDI-OTS (Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Fld, USA – Anacortes, USA): A lot of people should fly this route. The last airport is however actually closed, but the IATA code still remains.

  2. DIS-AST-ERS (Ngot Nzoungou, Congo Brazzaville – Astoria Regional, USA – Eros, Namibia): This itinerary is unlikely to attract many passengers.

  3. RAC-IST (John H Batten, USA – Istanbul, Turkey). A coincidence that this route connects wannabe dictators Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? I think not. Wisconsin voted for the current US president.

  4. BAD-SEX (Barksdale Air Force Base, USA – Sembach Air Base, Germany): Perhaps not the route you wanna fly before meeting your partner.

  5. SIN-FUL (Singapore – Fullerton, USA): Fullerton is, after all, only 365 kilometers from Las Vegas.

  6. FAT-GUY (Fresno Yosemite International, USA – Guymon Municipal, USA): Well, the USA is country number 17 on the list of those with the highest body mass index.

  7. MOR-ONS (Moore-Murrell, USA – Onslow, Australia): 17 624 kilometers is further than the longets air route in the world.

  8. JAC-KAS-SES (Jackson Hole, USA – Karasburg, Namibia – Selfield, USA): A bit of a detour, I’d say.

  9. MAD-COW-DIS-EZE (Madrid, Spain – Coquimbo, Chile – Loubomo, Republic of the Congo – Buenos Aires): Do excuse the unorthodox spelling.

  10. COP-KIL-LER (Cooperstown, USA – Kilwa, DRC – Leinster, Australia): Likelihood is that you never heard about any of these ‘cities’. Only 6 000 live in Kilwa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while less than 2 000 live in Cooperstown in New York state. And Leinster? Only 700 people live in what is a mining town in the middle of Australia.

  11. FRA-NCE (Frankfurt – Nice): This route is actually served by several airlines. To Francophiles this is presumably the best route out there. To the rest of us; not so much.

  12. NOR-WAY (Nordfjordur, Iceland – Greene County, USA): Payback time, Francophiles. Since I am Norwegian.

Let me finish off with a quirky itinerary that isn’t actually bad at all.

DON-TDR-INK-AND-FLY (Dos Lagunas, Guatemala – Theodore, Australia – Winkler County, USA – Anderson Regional, USA – Finley, Australia): Most importantly. Unless you have your own pilot.

The United States may seem overrepresented, but the country has more airports than the next ten countries on the list, combined. There are over 13,000 airports in the US, Brazil is number two with 4,000.

Find your own strange or less desirable itineraries at World Airport Codes.

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