Yesterday it was Qatar Airways intimating that Auckland was on its radar, soon to be joining the route map as the world’s longest flight. But the carrier did not have a start date and flight times, just the idea that it was coming. Emirates decided to one-up its cross-Gulf foe with similar service, and this one appears to be significantly more real. As in five weeks from now soon. The Emirates service will launch on 1 March 2016 on a 777-200LR with 5x weekly service, even as the previously announced Panama City service remains delayed.
Emirates is marketing the flight as a more convenient connection for access to Europe, noting that the flight times are coordinated to 24 European airports on eastbound flights and 38 cities for westbound flights. The new flight is also cargo-friendly, skipping the Australia stop and reducing time in transit to more of the world. It will be in addition to the four daily flights which Emirates has to New Zealand, each of which stops in Australia along the way.
Even with the new world’s longest flight as part of the itinerary the total transit time for much of Europe will be reduced with this new service. Major European cities can be reached from Auckland, generally through multi-carrier itineraries, in 24-28 hours. The new timing from Emirates has flights matching that travel time and all on a single carrier, thanks to more efficient connections. And there are far more cities available in Europe in that morning departure bank from Dubai than the existing connections in Asia or North America provide.
World’s Longest Flight
The new routes is 8,824 miles, besting Qantas’ Dallas-Sydney service by 246 miles. The Emirates service is scheduled for 19:15 en route, significantly longer than the 16:50 of the Qantas flight. If Qatar does launch the service it will be 208 mile longer than the Emirates version, but dates for such are not yet public.
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