Sheemek Said Mesabih posted a picture of the departures board to the Facebook group Dull Men’s Club with the caption: “I am at Bristol airport waiting for my delayed as always flight to Amsterdam, however looking at the departure screen I came across this flight to Exeter.
“This must certainly be the shortest inland flight within UK? Prove me wrong. Bristol – Exeter is about 56 miles apart in straight line. How long does the flight take?”
The Aurigny flight has an air time of 35 minutes – on a traffic-free day, it would take around 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive the same distance.
The half-hour West Country flight actually functions as the second leg of a two-hour indirect flight between Guernsey and Exeter that regularly stops in Bristol on the way to and from the Channel Islands and it is not possible to book as an individual journey.
A spokesperson for Aurigny Air Service said: “We operate our Guernsey, Exeter and Bristol on a triangular basis, so passengers remain on the aircraft between Bristol/Exeter. We do not sell the sector between Exeter and Bristol.”
Currently, Scottish airline Loganair operates the shortest scheduled flight route in the world with a 1.7-mile journey from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands, clocking in at just 90 seconds.
One shocked user wrote: “It is a classic example of stupidity in flight scheduling. By the time you’ve traveled out of Bristol to the airport then waited to fly, flown to Exeter, then found your way out of the airport and driven to the city ..... you could halvep got the train direct into Exeter, had a meal, done your meeting and start your journey home.”
“Bristol to Exeter just shows how pathetic short-haul flights have got. This is completely unacceptable when you consider the rail and road network between the two,” said another.
Others familiar with the area countered: “With the state of the roads down that way, 56 miles will take you 8 months to drive. A short 30 mins flight is well worth it.”