The world is set to get a new longest airline route run by Emirates, beating the previous record held by Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd.
According to the Great Circle Mapper website, Dubai-Panama is a flight of 13,821 kilometers. Emirates will fly the route with a Boeing Co. 777-200LR airliner, and journeys are expected to take 17 hours and 35 minutes, writes Deena Kamel for Bloomberg.
Breaks longest route record by small margin
The new route is just 17 kilometers longer than Qantas’s Sydney-Dallas route. The longest ever non-stop flight was flown from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey by Singapore Airlines Ltd., a distance of 15,344 kilometers which took around 19 hours to fly.
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Singapore Airlines stopped operating the daily all-business-class service in 2013, and analysts claimed that the aging four-engine Airbus Group SE A340 jets made the route less than viable.
Emirates stands to benefit from the new route as it will be able to use Panama as a hub for onward business and tourist travel throughout Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. In a press release, Chariman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said that the route will also provide capacity for imported electronics, machined products and drugs.
Further improvements in range expected with Emirates’ next generation airliner
The Boeing 777-200LRs will have 266 seats in three classes when they start flying the route in February. The plane is the current holder of the world distance record after flying a distance of 21,601 kilometers, over halfway around the world, in 2005. That particular flight took it from Hong Kong to London with a minimal load. Its normal range is 17,000 kilometers.
Emirates’ current longest route is Dubai-Los Angeles, a 13,420 kilometer journey flown by Airbus A380 superjumbo jets. The airline already flies to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
Certain routes, such as London-Sydney (17,061 kilometers), Melbourne and Auckland, cannot be flown with a standard load by even the most advanced passenger jets. That may soon change with the introduction of Boeing’s 777X in 2020.
As the Earth has a circumference of approximately 40,000 kilometers, there is no more than 20,000 kilometers between any two points on the surface of the planet. Emirates has the advantage of being based out of Dubai, a natural crossroads between continents. As a result, the airline has surged into its current position as one of the top international airlines.