Emirates overtakes Qantas for world’s longest flight

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Emirates overtakes Qantas for world’s longest flight

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Emirates overtakes Qantas for world’s longest flight

By Ofonime Essien

Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR

An Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR at a gate at Boston Logan International Airport on March 10, 2014. (Photo: Michael Dwyer, AP)

Emirates has bumped Qantas Airways out of the top spot for the world’s longest flight. Emirates took over the title Tuesday with the launch of its 8,819-mile nonstop route between Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Auckland, New Zealand.

That drops Qantas’ 8,576-mile route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney, Australia – the previous record holder – into second place, according to flight-data provider OAG. Delta’s 8,434-mile nonstop route between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa, slides to No. 3.

Emirates’ move to the top spot actually had been expected to come Feb. 1, the original launch date for the carrier’s planned Dubai-Panama City nonstop route that also would’ve overtaken Qantas’ DFW-Sydney route.

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But Emirates pushed back the launch of that route to March 31. The delay reportedly came as Emirates worked to secure approval to codeshare with local carriers, according to Business Traveller magazine. Copa Airlines operates a major connecting hub at Panama City, and a codeshare pact would allow the airlines to funnel connecting passengers to each other’s flights on a single ticket.

Regardless of when the Dubai-Panama City route begins, it will not be long enough to overtake Emirates’ just-launched Dubai-Auckland route. Dubai-Panama will be about 236 miles shorter, according to the Great Circle Mapper website. Time-wise, however, the Dubai-to-Panama flights will range from 16 hours, 55 minutes in the summer to 17 hours, 35 minutes in the winter. The latter would eclipse the 17-hour, 20-minute Auckland-to-Dubai flight in terms of time, if not distance.

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It was just in 2014 that Qantas bumped Delta’s Atlanta-Johannesburg route out of the top spot with its then-new Dallas/Fort Worth-Sydney flight. And the jostling for the title of “world’s longest commercial passenger flight” may not be finished yet.

Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker said earlier this year that the carrier would soon launch nonstop flights from its Doha hub to both Auckland and Santiago, Chile. Those routes – if launched – would become the world’s longest, though Qatar Airways has made no formal announcement about when or if it would follow through on Al Baker’s comments.

“We will not add a city before we have the network to support it,” Qatar Airways said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “While the title of longest airline flight may move and shift between carriers, only a few airlines are competing in that space. That’s where the advantage of our geography comes in.”

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And then there’s Singapore Airlines, which for years held the “world’s longest flight” title for its route connecting Singapore to New York. Singapore scrapped that route in 2013, but made news late last year by saying it expects to reinstate nonstop Singapore-U.S. routes as soon as 2018 with its new Airbus A350 aircraft. If Singapore resumes those routes – as is widely expected – its New York-Singapore flights would again become the world’s longest at a distance of 9,537 miles, according to Great Circle Mapper.

As for Emirates’ new Dubai-Auckland route, the carrier is using 266-seat Boeing 777-200LR jets that feature eight first-class “suites,” 42 lie-flat business-class seats and 216 economy-class seats.

Emirates already serves Auckland with daily flights, but each stops in one of three Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) en route. The Auckland-Dubai flight is the first nonstop connecting linking the cities.

Source: USA Today

 

 

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Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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