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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar Airways launches world’s longest flight with new NZ route


Qatar Airways touches down in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: Qatar Airways

Qatar’s national carrier is now the official operator of the world’s longest commercial flight, following the launch of its new service to Auckland, New Zealand.

Flight QR920 left Doha at 5:10am local time on Sunday morning.

Nearly 16 hours and 10 time zones later, it touched down in Auckland close to 11pm Qatar time the same night.

There were four pilots aboard Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight on the Boeing 777, which can hold 217 passengers in economy and 42 in business class.

The service was originally slated to launch in December, but faced some delays.

How long is that

The return leg of the 14,535km (9,031-mile) journey on the Boeing 777 takes 17 hours and 30 minutes.

According to Qatar Airways, that’s longer than all of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, which were filmed in New Zealand.

Lord of the Rings. Credit: LOTR

The journey also beats out the previous world’s longest flight, Dubai to Auckland on Emirates, by about 15 minutes.

Notably, Air India operates a longer flight by distance from Delhi to San Francisco, but that takes 14 and a half hours.

And next year, Singapore Airlines may take the top spot when it resumes non-stop flights to New York, a 19-hour service that could relaunch next year.

Roundtrip Doha-Auckland flights on Qatar Airways in February currently cost around US$1,300, according to the airline’s website.

Who’s up for a long trip? Thoughts?

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