The World’s New Longest Flight Takes Off In A Few Hours

At 5:10AM on Sunday morning, the world’s new furthest flight will operate for the first time. Specifically I’m talking about Qatar Airways’ new route between Doha and Auckland, which covers a distance of 9,032 miles in each direction.

DOH-AKL

The flight is blocked at 16hr20min eastbound, and 17hr30min westbound. It will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, featuring 42 business class seats and 217 economy class seats.

Qatar-Airways-777

This route beats out the previous furthest route in the world, which is between Dubai and Auckland — this route is about 200 miles further. Prior to that the world’s longest route was between Dallas and Sydney.

However, none of these routes are as long as the world’s longest route a few years back, between Newark and Singapore. That route is expected to relaunch in 2018, at which point it will once again be the world’s longest route by about 500 miles. Qantas is also expected to launch a route between Perth and London next year, which will be just a few miles shorter than the Doha to Auckland route.

Interestingly, Air India claims to operate the world’s longest route as well, between Delhi and San Francisco. Even though the flight covers a direct air distance of ~7,700 miles, they now operate the westbound flight via the Pacific, meaning the flight regularly covers a distance of 9,300+ miles. However, the way I see it, a flight’s distance should be measured by the direct air distance between two cities, and not by how many miles the plane actually flies.

Anyone planning on taking Qatar Airways’ new flight between Doha and Auckland?

Comments

  1. If the flight regularly operates at 9300 miles, then why shouldn’t it be recognized as the longest? If you’re stuck on the plane (especially in Y) the flying time is what you really care about.

  2. @Melissa, “block” is actually an aviation term. It refers to the time from when the aircraft initiates movement from its origin gate, to when it’s stopped at the destination gate. In scheduling terms, it refers to the amount of time the aircraft is expected to complete that

  3. @Kelly McFarland Maybe you already know this but with Qatar be sure to check in or call them in advance, they’ll set up a nice hotel, meal, ground transport vouchers during your connections in Doha. Should be included with your ticket, or at least it was with mine (DOH-KTM) Be glad you’re flying business. I can’t imagine flying through Doha economy. They have some huge lines there that you’ll be glad you’re avoiding. Also, check out the lounge!

    @Lucky I don’t agree with your distance calculation. I want to know the actual distance the plane flies, not the distance the crow flies.

  4. I’m on the second flight on this route, managed to grab a Golden Ticket, €88 for OSL-AKL return. I’ll take every flight time for this price 🙂 I’ll let you know how it was!

  5. @peachfront. It would be ridiculous to calculate based on distance the plane flies. Any of these long haul routs could be considered longest in the world based on flown miles given the winds and routing taken that day. Also FF miles are credited based on Great circle route distance . Sometimes CX HKG-JFK flights near 9000 miles in the winter. This was before air indias flights and CX never tried to claim longest in the world. Direct distance is all that really matters

  6. Ryan – Utter rubbish! If you want to know the longest flight by distance then the distance the plane flies is COMPLETELY logical and not remotely ridiculous. How your miles are calculated is completely irrelevant.

  7. It should be measure in hr and min. My butt measures time in plane not how far it flew. Actually, I was on one of the longest domestic flight just passed Sunday evening between Detroit and Minneapolis, almost eight hours during the Delta system meltdown. My butt didn’t tell me it was few hundred miles. It told me it was eight hours flight. I tried to argue but i lost.

  8. Taking this on Friday in biz: PSA > DOH > AKL. Purchased when Qatar had the intro rates for Pisa.

    Old layout on the 777. Not “ideal,” but can’t really complain considering the ticket only came out to about £1050 RT.

  9. I think farthest, rather than furthest, is the appropriate word here. Farthest denotes distance, as in far, while furthest is to what extent something extends. It’s used interchangeably and isn’t misunderstood I suppose, and it’s not as egregious as the oh-so-frequently misused lie and lay, but it’s not correct.

    Flew HKG-JFK a few weeks ago and the block to block time was 16 hours-glad to have been in business!

  10. Yes Lucky…correct grammar here is to use ‘farther’ or ‘farthest’ when describing distance. ‘Further’ is used in all other usages, as in “He needs to study the subject further.”

  11. Not a fan of long route. No matter which class traveling. Would rather take a break for a couple of hours at a good major airport.

  12. @Levy Flight: I concur. Anything over 10 hours for me is too long – no I’m not old, already felt that way in my 20s. Which means, e.g., from West Coast to UK-France-Amsterdam is about max-manageable. I did SFO-HKG and BKK-LHR and other 13-14 hour flights. Flew in F and J, and even then I was exhausted. After so many hours in a tube, the IFE, food, liquor, amenities just don’t matter. The only thing I want to look forward to is seeing the crate on the ground and breath some fresh air. Which is why in flying new carriers to check off my list I’m flying shorter routes, e.g. Dubai-Paris on Emirates vice Dubai-U.S, Air India Delhi-Dubai, Qantas: Sydney-Singapore, Korean Air, Singapore-Seoul. All under 10 hours.

  13. Not a fan of long roots.
    I get tired and dont have the stamina to endure long uncomfortable roots especially when next to someone you dont really like.
    I like to hav e several breaks rather than long roots and emirates you can have a cold shower to wake up and enjoy the long roots.

  14. I booked it for the error fare last year and my outbound (31jan17) had to be rerouted via Hkg due to the delay in operating this route.
    I will fly this ‘longest flight’ Akl>Doh next wednesday in Business Class.
    Looking forward to 17.30hrs watching movies, listen to music and good food&wine served by the ‘as always’ fantastic QR crew.

  15. @Jonathan – I agree! I will believe air India when they credit me 9,300+ miles for my flight
    Actually I received a total of 39972 Aegean M+B miles for my round-trip SFO-DEL-SFO on AI non-stop. This was with 100% bonus for Biz ticket. So that comes to 9,993 miles flown each way. I was also surprised by it, but this is what was credited. So I think we can say this is the longest flight as far as earned miles are concerned :-).

  16. @raksiam – “If the flight regularly operates at 9300 miles, then why shouldn’t it be recognized as the longest? If you’re stuck on the plane (especially in Y) the flying time is what you really care about.”

    I agree with you that from the passenger experience perspective, its the flight time which should be the most relevant factor when considering the longest flight. However, the AI DEL-SFO flight is not the longest in terms of flight time. In fact, the reason they fly the longer route is because it takes less time due to strong tail winds.

    I think one of the longest single flight ever might be the EY AUH-SFO flight more than a year or so ago, which was stuck on the tarmac for 12 hrs due to fog and then took-off for the almost 16hr flight. I can only imagine how the Y pax would have felt after 28hrs straight in the plane. Of course here we are talking about scheduled flights, so this one doesn’t really count.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *