World’s longest flight set to soar into record books

Qatar Airways flight 920 will take 16 hours & 20 minutes flying from Doha to Auckland. © Karim Sahib / AFP

Qatar Airways will kiss the cloud almanacs this weekend as it takes to the air to complete the world’s longest flight from Doha, the capital of Qatar, to Auckland, New Zealand.

Qatar Airways Flight 920 will cover a distance of 9,032 miles (14,535 km), taking 16 hours and 20 minutes, spanning 10 times zones in the process.

It will take off from Doha on Sunday morning at 5:10am, pass over Dubai, northern Oman, the southern tip of India and Sri Lanka. It will the fly over the Indian Ocean and Western Australia before beginning its descent into Auckland, with a scheduled arrival time of 7.30am on Monday.

The return trip is actually expected to take more time, 17 hours 30 minutes, due to prevailing jet streams.

How much?

For your Average Joe, it will set you back $1,265 one-way for an economy seat while business class costs $4,500.

The current record

At present, the longest route is Dubai to Auckland, a flight operated by Qatar’s rival Emirates, which covers 8,902 miles.

Qatar may not hold the record for too long, however, as Singapore Airlines is planning on opening a route from Singapore to New York route in 2018, which will come in at 9,529 miles – some 497 miles longer.

There is, of course, a little bit of disagreement between airlines as to which flight is longer as Air India argues that its Delhi-San Francisco flight is the longest, clocking up a distance of 9,506 miles.

This isn’t based on the “Great Circle” distance (shortest route between two points on a sphere), however, flying over the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic Ocean, which adds almost 1,400 km.

According to the “Great Circle” route, Doha and Auckland are further apart on the surface of the Earth.

The plane

The Boeing 777-200LR is described as being “one of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft” and is built for such long-haul flights with a maximum range of 10,840 miles.

The plane measures 209ft 1in in length with a wingspan of 212ft 7in. It has a maximum fuel capacity of 181,270 liters and has 42 seats in Business Class and 217 seats in Economy.