London, Nov 6 (ANI): While most kids take the bus or walk to school, six Scottish children got the chance to fly there on the world's shortest flight, which takes just 47 seconds in favourable weather.
The teenagers from Papa Westray live on a remote island in Orkney, Scotland, and until the end of this year, they will board a Loganair plane to nearby Westray, following suspension of ferry service.
The company says the flight, with an average time of 96 seconds, is the shortest in the world. With favourable tail winds, the 1.7-mile journey can take as little as 47 seconds.
Holly Crocker, Leanne Cursiter, Solan and Cassia Dodman, Shane Hourston and Rowan Pierce, all aged 12-14, will be flown to and from Westray Junior High until the end of the year when the ferry is scheduled to return following refurbishment.
"It's kind of cool getting the plane to school. But it will be good to get back to the boat as well," the Scotsman quoted Cassia, 14, who began taking the plane last week along with 12-year-old brother Solan, as saying.
"This is the second week we've been getting to school like this and it makes a nice change. The plane's got nine seats and it only takes 96 seconds. You just kind of get on and off again. It hardly takes any time at all.
"My family would usually fly to Kirkwall two or three times a month for shopping or to go to the dentist, so this is something different. It is good, but the novelty is wearing off a little bit.
"Usually we got on a little boat at the pier in Papa and sailed to the pier in Westray. But sometimes it got cancelled if the weather was really bad," Cassia added.
Papa Westray has a population of just 70 and no secondary school. Westray, home to more than 600 residents, has about 70 pupils enrolled at its junior high and nine full-time teachers.
The school provides education to Standard Grade level but pupils choosing to study for their Highers must travel to the Orkney capital, Kirkwall.
The students fly to Westray each Tuesday and stay with host families for two nights before catching a return flight on the Thursday.
Loganair, which operates the service, has changed its schedule to ensure the children get to school on time.
"While it is a popular tourist route, it's also a vital lifeline to those residents who live, work or do business in Orkney and it will make all the difference to ensuring those children who live on Papa Westray can continue their schooling throughout winter," Loganair commercial director Jonathan Hinkles said.
Willie McEwen, acting head teacher at Westray Junior High, expressed happiness at the solution.
"We're delighted that Loganair has come forward with this solution," McEwen said.
"Our children will enjoy the flying especially as, at this time of the year, it can be quite rough on the boat.
"This kind of flexibility and adaptability is an essential part of island life, and the youngsters take it all in their stride," he stated.
Guinness World Records said it did not yet recognise the world's shortest scheduled domestic flight.
"The category is currently under research," a spokesman stated. (ANI)