Qatar Airways flight arrives to Auckland from Doha after a 16 hours and 23 minutes trip covering 14,535km
Qatar Airway’s Boeing 777-200LR landed in Auckland from Doha after flying 9,032-miles (14,535km) and crossing 10 time zones, making it the world’s longest commercial flight. It took 16 hours and 23 minutes of fly time exactly, five minutes less than the scheduled itinerary.
Tweeting about the monumental flight, Qatar Airways wrote “We’ve officially landed in Auckland.” On its arrival at Auckland airport, the plane got showered with water cannons; an aviation tradition reserved to ground breaking flights and VIP travelers.
Previous Record Broken
The economic impact of this new service is estimated by New Zealand’s trade minister Todd McClay to be in excess of NZ$50m (£29.3m) with the increased freight capacity provided.
1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals were served by 15 cabin crew members throughout the flight, it also had 4 pilots on board. Flying this route will set you back 4,825 Qatari reals (£1,050) for a return economy flight, or 33,285 QAR (£7,250) in first class.
This flight breaks previous record previously held by Emirates Airline and Air India. Emirates flew a 14,200km flight last March from Dubai to Auckland, while Air India flew from Delhi to San Francisco.
However, judging by distance, Doha and Auckland are the furthest apart.
Long commercial flights are not a new trend; Singapore Airlines still holds the record for longest non-stop commercial flight.
Its 19-hour trip from Singapore to Newark in the US covered around 15,300km. The airline used a four-engine Airbus 340-500 plane for this trip, but due to its high cost, the plane was converted into all-business class cabins, which still didn’t offset the high cost, forcing the airline to cancel the route in 2013.
Singapore Airlines might be able to reclaim its record before the end of this decade as it has signed a deal with Airbus to develop an ultra-long range variant of its lightweight A350 in order to resume this route.
Progress in the aviation industry, especially manufacturing planes with composite materials and higher fuel efficiency, such as the Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the A350, are making more far-flung destinations financially viable which has been helping airlines to re-examine long-haul routes.
In 2005, the long-range version of the 777-200 broke the record for the longest non-commercial flight by taking an almost 23-hour route over 21,500km.