Emirates has launched its first non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland – the world’s longest scheduled passenger flight.
New Zealand exporters will benefit from the new service, being able to access more capacity through Dubai, one of the world’s major cargo hubs.
This is of particular benefit for exporters of perishable goods for markets in the Middle East and Africa regions.
The direct service, which began on March 2, takes 17 hours, 15 minutes and covers a distance of 14,162km.
The service is now the world’s longest passenger flight. But this journey will soon be surpassed by the carrier’s upcoming Dubai-Panama service, which is set to have a flight time of 17 hours, 35 minutes when it launches on March 31.
Qantas previously operated the world’s longest flight with its direct Sydney-Dallas service totalling 16 hours, 55 minutes.
To celebrate the new milestone, Emirates operated the first service using a double-decker A380 rather than the Boeing 777-200LR that will regularly fly the route.
Boost for tourists
The Boeing 777-200LRs, which have been assigned to the route, feature a three-cabin configuration comprising eight First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats, and 216 Economy Class seats.
As well as benefitting exporters, the new Emirates service will give tourists more options.
They can travel to Auckland with a stopover in Australia on one of three daily A380s, flying non-stop direct into Auckland, or fly to the South Island on Emirate’s daily Christchurch service.
With the introduction of the non-stop service, Emirates will fly more than 2,000 seats a day in each direction on New Zealand services.
Footnote: The competition for the world’s longest route doesn’t stop with Emirates’ upcoming flights. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Business that the airline is looking to launch a direct service between Doha and Auckland that could run over 18 hours one way.