Air India
Would you spend 18 hours on a plane without stopping? Getty Images

Air India has announced plans to operate the world's longest non-stop flight between the "Silicon Valleys" of Bengaluru and San Francisco. The 14,000km (8,700-mile) journey between the two cities would take roughly 18 hours.

Currently the world's longest regular scheduled non-stop flight is between Dallas in the USA and Sydney, Australia. That 13,700km (8,500-mile) flight lasts 16 hours. Currently there are no direct flights between India and northern California despite the area's large Indian population, partly due to the success of the state's Silicon Valley. Formerly known as Bangalore, the garden city of Bengaluru - the capital of Karnataka - is at the centre of India's own booming electronic "hub".

Bengaluru San Francisco
According to Google it's a 21hr flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco - but that's going the long way round Google maps

In a statement to the Times of India, a senior Air India spokesman said: "We are planning to have a nonstop from either Delhi or Bengaluru to San Francisco on our Boeing 777-200 long range aircraft. And in addition we are planning a direct service between Ahmedabad and London due to the huge demand for travel between these two cities."

Lighter manufacturing materials and low oil prices have contributed to an increase in the number of long long-haul flights, which weren't economically viable even a few years ago. Other long nonstop flights planned include Dubai-Panama City (Emirates) and Singapore-New York (Singapore Airlines). That route was cancelled due to the expense of using the four-engine Airbus A340. Now the same route could be flown using a twin-engine Boeing 777-200.

The longest-ever nonstop flight by a commercial jet was a 20-hour flight by a Qantas Boeing 747 between Heathrow and Sydney, Australia in 1989, though there were no paying passengers aboard the one-off flight. Currently the world's shortest flight is the 1.7-mile hop between Westray and Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland - which takes just two minutes.