On the morning of February 6, Auckland Airport welcomed Qatar Airways as it launched the world’s longest commercial passenger flight on the Auckland-Doha route.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s acting General Manager – Aeronautical Commercial, commented: “We welcome Qatar Airways to Auckland and New Zealand. They are an award-winning airline which offers travellers access to more than 150 destinations worldwide, high quality inflight service, and the opportunity for a stopover in Qatar.”
Qatar Airways will operate a daily service year-round between Doha and Auckland using a Boeing 777 aircraft. The new service provides more than 189,000 seats and 6,000 tonnes of cargo capacity on the route each year. Auckland Airport estimates that this will translate into a $198 million boost to the New Zealand economy.
“We expect the new route to be particularly popular with European visitors to New Zealand, and that this will help New Zealand continue to grow and diversify its inbound visitor markets and increase tourism spending around the country. New Zealanders will also value having an exciting new airline option when they travel to the United Kingdom and Europe.”
The new route is 9,031 miles (14,535km) long, with a flying time of 17 hours 30 minutes from Auckland to Doha and 16 hours and 10 minutes from Doha to Auckland. The Auckland to Doha flight is the world’s longest commercial passenger flight by flying time. However, Air India also claims its 9,507 mile (15,300km) Delhi to San Francisco flight to be the world’s longest non-stop service since the airline changed its routing from its original Atlantic/Polar region heading to a longer distance across the Pacific ocean. The route analysis experts, OAG, say the distance between Delhi and San Francisco – based on the shortest routing – is 7,690 miles (12,376km) approximately 1,136 miles (2,150km) shorter than Qatar Airways’ Auckland service.