Oh sure, there are probably a bunch of different routes that could win the prize of being the most overserved these days, but I think there’s one in particular that deserves the win. Surprisingly, it doesn’t even have that many flights, but even one flight is too many. It’s a route that former President Bush might call the Axis of Evil Express. Any guesses?
That’s right. It’s Caracas, Venezuela to Tehran, Iran. And it’s about to get even more service.
The Chavez to Ahmadinejad connection is 7,315 miles long. That’s only 150 miles shorter than LA to Sydney, in comparison. While they’re both oil countries, it would seem that the biggest reason for operating this flight is because almost nobody else outside of Cuba wants to be their political friends. Having demand for the flight appears to be optional.
The flight first launched in 2007 and today it’s operated weekly by Conviasa, the national airline of Venezuela, on an early model (1993 vintage) A340-200. It’s also codeshared with Iran Air. You might wonder how an A340 can make a flight that far, right? Well I’d think they’d have a shot at making it since there are probably only two people on every flight, but they don’t take the chance. It stops.
Remember how I said that almost nobody wanted to be political friends with these guys? Yeah, well the plane stops in Damascus. Syria is one of the very few exceptions, unsurprisingly.
But now let’s get to the really comical news. Those crazy cats in Venezuela and Iran are at it again. They’ve recently signed an agreement that, among other things, will provide new “direct” flights between Tehran and Caracas thanks to Mahan Air.
Mahan does have a 747-400, so I imagine this could actually be flown nonstop. I guess that will help take the pressure of Conviasa so they can carry more local traffic between Caracas and Damascus. I’m sure they’re just bursting at the seams trying to carry everyone right now.
So congratulations (or shall I say Mazel Tov?), Venezuela and Iran. You are the proud owners of the award for the Most Overserved Route in the World. (And my condolences to those at the airlines who are forced to run this ridiculous route.)