Emirates has launched its first direct flight between Dubai and Auckland, which becomes the world’s longest scheduled air route.
The inaugural 14,203km flight took off for the first time this week, surpassing the current longest route – Qantas’ 13,804km service between Sydney and Dallas. This marks Emirates’ first direct connection to New Zealand, a destination it has previously served via Australia.
“This is an important development for our customers, for Emirates, and for New Zealand,” said Gary Chapman, president of group services for the Emirates Group. “We anticipate high demand for the route, providing a further boost to inbound tourist traffic into New Zealand that now exceeds three million a year. We also expect the service to be popular with New Zealanders seeking faster connections to Europe and the Middle East.”
The new Emirates service will allow passengers to fly from Dubai to New Zealand in less than 16 hours, cutting the journey time by three hours. The return flight will take New Zealand-based passengers to Dubai in just over 17 hours.
The route will be operated using Emirates’ three-class, 266-seat Boeing 777-200LR (long-range) aircraft. The airline also operates three daily Airbus A380 services to Auckland and one B777 flight to Christchurch via Australia, so with the introduction of the non-stop flight, Emirates will offer more than 2,000 seats per day in each direction on its New Zealand services.
The Dubai-Auckland flight is not the longest scheduled flight ever operated however; this accolade goes to Singapore Airlines for its 15,345km Singapore-New York service which ended in 2013. But SIA is planning to relaunch the route in the coming years, using its new “ultra-long-range” A350 aircraft.
Emirates is also planning to launch a new service to Panama City this year, which will cover a distance of 13,821km, and United Airlines is preparing to start a 13,592km service from San Francisco to Singapore.
World’s longest scheduled flights
Dubai-Auckland (Emirates) – 14,203km
Sydney-Dallas (Qantas) – 13,804km
Atlanta-Johannesburg (Delta) – 13,582km
Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles (Etihad) – 13,502km
Dubai-Los Angeles (Emirates) – 13,420km