Qatar Airways has snaked the title of World’s Longest Flight from Emirates, launching its mammoth 16-hour, 20-minute flight from Doha to Auckland.
Per the NZ Herald, Qatar’s 777 arrived around 7am this morning to a traditional water cannon welcome, after departing Doha’s Hamad Airport at 3.04 NZT yesterday afternoon. The plane crossed 10 time zones en route to Auckland.
The Doha-Auckland service covered 14,535km on its way down to Auckland, and will clock up 29,066km on its round-trip overall. The flight is 342km longer than its Gulf rival Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland service.
The return flight, which will fly out of Auckland Airport at 2.40pm tomorrow arvo, can take up to an hour longer due to prevailing headwinds.
According to NZ Herald, there were four pilots and 15 cabin crew aboard, serving 1100 cups of tea and coffee, 2000 cold drinks and 1036 meals during the Doha-Auckland leg.
And while Air India’s Delhi-San Fran flight is considered the world’s longest in terms of distance, tailwinds also mean Air India’s flight time is less than 15 hours. This means Qatar’s route is the world’s longest passenger service in terms of flying time, according to tracking website flightradar24.
Auckland Airport estimates the daily Qatar services will fuel the economy by almost $200 million.
But Qatar better watch its back, because when Singapore Airlines resume its non-stop flights to New York in 2018, its time in the air will jump to 19 hours.