The longest continuous airline route in the world will launch in February of next year.
Emirates announced the planned service – a distance of 13,821 kilometres – between Dubai, UAE and Panama City, Panama via the dual-engine Boeing 777-200LR, the jetliner currently with the longest range.
The flight is just 17 kilometers longer than the current longest airline route, the Sydney, AU to Dallas, US route of Qantas Airways.
The journey will take passengers through nine time zones and last approximately 17 hours and 35 minutes.
With the new flight, Panama City will serve as the gateway for Emirates into Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. According to Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, it will also provide capacity for imported electronics, legal drugs, and machined products.
“Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers travelling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onward to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum in a statement on the airline’s website.
The Boeing 777-200LRs will feature a total of 266 seats over three classes. Emirates flight EK251 will depart Dubai at 08:05 and arrive in Panama City at 16:40 daily. The return flight, EK252, will leave Panama City at 22:10, arriving in Dubai at 22:55 the next day.
The Dubai-Panama City route of Emirates will still not be as long as the longest ever non-stop route, however. That title goes to Singapore Airlines and its former 19-hour route between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey, which spanned a distance of 15,344 kilometers.
The flight was discontinued in 2013 when analysts found the routes no longer viable due to the aging quad-engine Airbus SE A340 jets that Singapore Airlines was using for the routes.
The current longest route being offered by Emirates is its Dubai-Los Angeles flight, which covers 13,420 kilometers and uses an Airbus A38-superjumbo.