People's Viennaline, an Austrian airline, has begun what it claims is the world's shortest regular international connection - an eight-minute hop across Lake Constance.
The flight connects St. Gallen-Altenrhein in Switzerland with Friedrichshafen in southern Germany, just 20 kilometer. It's part of a route that continues onward to Cologne, but passengers can book only the short part for €40.
Only about 10% of the forecast annual 40,000 passengers are expected to just take the shorter leg between Altenrhein and Friedrichshafen, says Danel Steffen, CEO of People's Viennaline. "But this stopover will benefit both tourists and commuters working on both sides of the lake and, of course, it is also likely to become a must in every aviation enthusiast's logbook," he adds.
At present, people travelling between the two countries can drive 77km or catch a ferry, which takes for one hour and twenty minutes.
The world's shortest domestic flight is operated between two villages in the north of Scotland. The commercial flight between Westray and Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands takes just 47 seconds.
German news agency DPA reported that environmentalists aren't thrilled by the new route, which began service on Wednesday. Swiss Green Party politician Meinrad Gschwend says he wants the flights banned.
The airline says driving around the lake for an hour would produce as much emissions as the short flight.
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