Qatar Airways has announced plans to launch the world’s longest direct flight: a 9,034-mile schlep from Doha to Auckland. Should the route get the green light, it would beat the current record holder – Qantas’ Dallas-Sydney service – by almost 500 miles.
The journey time would be an estimated 18 hours and 34 minutes, according to the journey planning website.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, told Bloomberg Business that it was also hoping to fly from Doha to Santiago in Chile: a 8,956-mile journey, as well as launch new routes to Marrakech, Lisbon and Phuket, but no start dates have yet been announced.
As reported last year, Emirates will launch its Dubai International Airport, Dubai to Tocumen International Airport, Panama City on February 1st 2016 at a whopping 17hours, 35minutes, covering 8,595 miles.
Emirates and Qatar Airways will both use Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which seats 217 passengers in economy class and 42 in premium, on their new ultra long-haul routes.
But the Middle Eastern pair could be topped in 2018 by Singapore Airlines. The carrier recently expressed a desire to restore its direct New York-Singapore service, and the manufacturer Airbus is reportedly working on a variety of its A350-900 aircraft which would allow it do so more economically than before.