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Emirates to Launch World’s Longest Flight

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Move over Qantas, there’s a new ultra-long haul flight king in town: Emirates announced today that it would be adding a new route to Panama City, Panama (PTY)  from its hub in Dubai (DXB), slated to begin on February 1, 2016.

The flight time for the DXB-PTY leg will be scheduled at 17 hours, 35 minutes, while the return flight is scheduled for a slightly more manageable 15 hours, 45 minutes. In total, the flight will span 8,588 miles, just barely edging out Qantas’ current record-holding flight — operated on an Airbus A380 between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Sydney (SYD) — by just 10 miles.

Emirates' First Class Suite on the Boeing 777-200LR is a taste of luxury.
Emirates’ First Class Suite on the Boeing 777-200LR provides luxury at 30,000 feet.

The carrier, currently the largest of the Middle Eastern airlines, says that the route will be operated daily on a Boeing 777-200LR, with EK251 departing Dubai at 8:05 a.m. and arriving at 4:40 p.m. On the return, EK252 departs Panama City at 10:10 p.m. and arrives at 10:55 p.m. the next day.

The plane is equipped with eight first-class suites, 42 business-class seats and 216 economy-class seats. TPG Contributor Leigh Rowan recently flew on the similar Emirates 777-300ER between Bangkok (BKK) and DXB.

Notably, Singapore Airlines used to operate the world’s longest flight, an all-business-class service between Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR) aboard an Airbus A340. That flight clocked in at a whopping 9,534 miles, with a flight time of about 18.5 hours, but was discontinued on November 23, 2013.

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