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Longest flight links Qatar and Auckland in latest endurance test
[SYDNEY] Qatar Airways wrested the world's-longest-flight title from Mideast rival Emirates with a 9,030-mile (14,535km) service linking Doha with Auckland that touched down in New Zealand's biggest city Tuesday.
The route adds 200 miles to the record that Emirates established last year by virtue of Doha's location further northwest. Singapore Airlines Ltd's planned resumption of direct flights from its home hub to New York in 2018 would comfortably beat both services, with a distance of more than 9,500 miles.
Qatar Air will serve Auckland daily using 259-seat Boeing Co 777-200LR aircraft. The route will meet demand for onward flights to New Zealand from Europe and the US East Coast, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said following the first flight, which was scheduled to take about 17.5 hours. The carrier, which already serves Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in Australia, plans to expand in the region by commencing flights to Canberra in February 2018.
Qantas Airways Ltd, Australia's biggest airline, plans to start direct flights between Perth in Western Australia and London in March 2018 using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The 17-hour trip spans about 8,990 miles.
There's some dispute about who currently holds the longest-flight title. Air India Ltd. flies between Delhi and San Francisco, a direct distance of about 8,260 miles, but takes a roundabout route of more than 9,000 miles to avoid headwinds.