x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emirates to fly non-stop from Dubai to Auckland, close to world’s longest

The new non-stop flight will reduce the flying time by around three hours each way, the airline said.

A jogger runs along the seawall in Auckland, with the city skyline in the background. Reuters
A jogger runs along the seawall in Auckland, with the city skyline in the background. Reuters

Emirates is to start a non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland from March 1, marking one of the world’s longest flights.

The new non-stop flight will reduce the flying time by around three hours each way, the airline said. The flight will take less than 16 hours between Dubai and New Zealand and 17 hours 15 minutes from New Zealand to Dubai.

The new direct service will be in addition to Emirates’ existing flights to Auckland. Now Emirates will fly 2,000 seats per day to New Zealand in each direction.

“Tourists, in particular, will now have more options – travelling to Auckland with a stopover in Australia on one of our three daily A380s, flying non-stop direct into Auckland, or flying to the South Island on our daily Christchurch service,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

Emirates is rapidly growing and renewing its fleet by expanding its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 to fly on non-stop on long haul routes from Dubai.

Due to the plunge in oil prices from a peak of $115 per barrel in 2014 to today’s price of under $30, long-haul flights are becoming more feasible, or economical, to operate.

On March 31, Emirates will inaugurate the longest non-stop flight in the world from Dubai to Panama City using a Boeing 777-200 LR [long range] aircraft. The aircraft will depart from Dubai and land in Panama City 17 hours and 35 minutes later.

The direct Dubai-Auckland route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, carrying up to 266 passengers in a three-class cabin configuration.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways yesterday said it also plans to fly to Auckland, which, if it goes ahead, will outdo Emirates in the longest-flight stakes.

The journey time from Doha would be an estimated 18 hours 34 minutes.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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