Sunday 5th February saw the inauguration of Qatar Airways 9,032 mile (14,535 KM) non-stop flight between Doha and Auckland, officially making it the world’s longest commercial airline flight!
16 hours and 23 minutes after it departed Doha International Airport, the 259-seat Boeing 777 landed five minutes ahead of schedule at 7:25 a.m. local time on Monday, and was showered with water cannons, as is customary for inaugural flights on new routes.
The Independent reported that on the flight:
4 pilots rotated shifts across 10 time zones
15 crew members attended to passengers needs
1,100 cups of tea and coffee were served
2,000 cold drinks were poured
1,036 meals were distributed during the duration of the flight
Qatar Airways’ rival Emirates previously held the record for its route between Dubai and Auckland. That route is more than 300 kilometers shorter. However Qatar already have sights set on breaking their own record on the return flight to Doha, which is expected to take 17 hours and 30 minutes due to headwinds.
Who’s next? Word has it that Singapore airlines are looking to relaunch the 19-hour non-stop flight between Singapore and Newark in as early as 2018.