International flight

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Variety of airliners at Tokyo Narita Airport. All of depicted aircraft arrived in Japan as a result of international flights.
Larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380 are often used for international flights.

An international flight is a form of commercial flight within civil aviation where the departure and the arrival take place in different countries.[1]

An important difference between international and domestic flights is that, before boarding the aircraft, passengers must undergo migration formalities and, when arriving to the destination airport, they must undergo both immigration and customs formalities, unless both the departure and arrival countries are members of the same free travel area, such as the Schengen Area.

Airports serving international flights are known as international airports.


One of the first flights between two countries was on January 7, 1785, when Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries crossed the English Channel in a hot air balloon.[2] It took more than a century for the first heavier-than-air object to repeat this process: Louis Blériot crossed the English Channel on July 25, 1909,[3] winning a Daily Mail prize of £1,000.[4]

Aviation technology developed during World War I, with aviation between the World Wars seeing the development of international commercial flights. There was a combination of aircraft types which included airships and airplanes. The first airline to operate international flights was Chalk's Ocean Airways, established 1917, which operated scheduled seaplane services from Florida to the Bahamas. The first regular international service in the world was covered by the British Aircraft Transport and Travel, from Hounslow Heath Aerodrome to Le Bourget, near Paris.

After World War II, international commercial flights were regulated by the creation of the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International flight". WordNet Search 3.0. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  2. ^ "Boston's first aeronaut". The New York Times. July 10, 1885.
  3. ^ "Blériot Tells of his Flight" (PDF). The New York Times. July 26, 1909. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "The New 'Daily Mail' Prizes". Flight. 5 (223): 393. April 5, 1913.