DALLAS – World traveler Umit Sabanci is about to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation by scheduled flights.

Over the years, Sabanci, who once broke the mark for the most countries traveled in 24 hours via public transport, was motivated to push the boundaries once again thanks to his love of travel. He avidly monitors travel, hotel and airline news around the world for new ideas.

Guinness World Records offers a variety of categories and caters to people with a range of abilities, skills, and traits. Sabanci saw that this particular record was set in 1980 and got to thinking.

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Umit arriving at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Video: Umit Sabanci

The current record


Umit noted that after 42 years no one had broken the aforementioned record trip, which lasted eight legs and 44 hours. As he ran through the numbers, Umit began to doubt the accuracy of the record as he was unable to calculate a different route plan. No calculations he made correlate with the 44-hour record from four decades earlier.

Umit wrote to Guinness and explained that he had been working on a different route for a long time and that, given the justifications and information he had provided, he had reservations about the veracity of the record posted online. Guinness responded and informed him that after reviewing it with specialists the record title was now 50 hours with no previous record holder.

With new planes, updated flight paths and travel times, Sabanci was confident he could complete the circumnavigation faster, clocking the travel time at 46 hours and 30 minutes.

So Sabanci, managing director of an international consultancy firm, begins his scheduled airline world tour today, hopefully in the shortest time on record to break the world record.

Photo: Umit Sabanci

The record trip


Sabanci will take off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and, after traveling to Doha and Brisbane, will return to Los Angeles, having covered 37,000 km in 46 hours and made three flights and two connections with Qatar Airways ( QR) and Qantas (QF).

A route like this is not easy to calculate because it must be realistic with its connection times. As for registration, there are strict rules that must be followed.

  • For the purposes of this record, a “scheduled flight” is defined as a flight on an aircraft of a registered airline with a published schedule for which a member of the public can purchase a ticket in advance. The flight must be part of a regular public service and charter flights are not permitted.
  • The time starts when the first flight leaves the runway at LAX and ends when the last flight lands on the runway at the same airport. This means that the starting and ending points must be in exactly the same place.
  • Finally, the journey must be in one direction, i.e. east to west or west to east, and the attempt must cover a minimum distance of 36,787 km. The journey must be continuous, with each leg beginning at the point where the last leg ended.
Umit circumnavigation route map created with freemaptools.com

The road map


After reviewing the challenge, Sabanci found the solution to the riddle and calculated the route plan, thus breaking the record to some extent by coming up with an alternate plan to improve the record. The roadmap is as follows:

  • The first leg is from LAX to Hamad International Airport (DOH) by QR740 at 6:30 p.m. PDT (9:30 a.m. EST) today. Estimated arrival time is 8:00 PM AST on August 10, 2022.
  • The second leg is from DOH to Brisbane Airport (BNE) by QR898 at 9:15 PM AST on August 10, 2022. Estimated time of arrival is 6:15 PM AEST on August 11, 2022.
  • The third and final leg of this journey is from BNE to LAX via QF15 at 8:30 p.m. AEST on August 11, 2022. The estimated time of arrival is 5:00 p.m. PDT on August 11, 2022.
Photo: Umit Sabanci

Flight Sponsor, Fundraising


The record circumnavigation was sponsored by Bahcesehir University and to make the theft more meaningful there is a fundraising page, justgiving.com/umitsabanci, where anyone can donate Guy’s Cancer Charity.

As of this writing, QR739 is coming to LAX. Will the world record for the fastest circumnavigation of scheduled flights be broken?

Be sure to stay tuned Airlines companies for coverage of Umit’s special flight. Follow Umit’s flight on instagram.

This is a developing story.


Featured Image: Umit Sabanci