Qatar Airways launches world’s longest flight

Sit back, relax and prepare yourself for the world’s longest commercial flight – a 17-and-a-half hour ultra-long-haul slog from Doha to Auckland.

Qatar Airways’ new 14,535km non-stop service edges out Emirates’ existing Dubai-Auckland flight to claim the dubious honour of being the longest scheduled flight, in terms of time spent in the air.

Air India’s trans-Pacific Delhi-San Francisco route remains the longest in terms of distance, at approximately 15,300km, but takes less time due to strong tailwinds.

Qatar Airways’ group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, travelled on board the inaugural flight to Auckland and was welcomed upon arrival by Todd McClay, New Zealand’s Minister of Trade & State-Owned Enterprises, and Auckland Airport’s chief executive, Adrian Littlewood.

Qatar Airways' inaugural flight is greeted in Auckland with a water cannon salute
Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight is greeted in Auckland with a water cannon salute

“The launch of our new service to Auckland is an important milestone for Qatar Airways as we expand both in the region and globally across our network providing more options and better connections to exciting business and leisure destinations in Europe and the Middle East,” said Al Baker.

“Arriving in Auckland on Waitangi Day and achieving the title of world’s longest flight for the return record-breaking service… makes this an even more momentous occasion for Qatar Airways.”

Qatar Airways will now operate the route daily using a Boeing 777 aircraft. Flight QR0920 will depart Doha’s Hamad International Airport at 0250 and arrive in Auckland at 0500 the next day. The return service, QR0921, will then leave Auckland at 1440 and arrive back in Doha at 2210.

The new route marks Qatar Airways’ debut in New Zealand. Qatari citizens, along with others from the GCC region, will be offered visas-on-arrival for 90-day stays in New Zealand.

“Welcoming Qatar Airways to New Zealand, through this direct service, is a significant event in the New Zealand Qatar relationship – opening up greater people to people and business to business connections between our two countries,” said Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand’s Ambassador to Qatar.

World’s longest flights (by scheduled flight time)

1)    Doha-Auckland (Qatar Airways)                                –    17 hours 40 mins
2)    Dubai-Auckland (Emirates)                                        –    17 hours 30 mins
3)    Dallas-Sydney (Qantas)                                               –    17 hours 00 mins
4)    San Francisco-Singapore (Singapore Airlines)       –    16 hours 30 mins
5)    San Francisco-Singapore (United Airlines)             –    16 hours 20 mins

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