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The never-ending battle in the skies for the world’s longest flight is taking another step forward. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways hinted that it was working to launch its Doha to Auckland flight, which would become the world’s longest. And yesterday, the airline announced that it will, in fact, launch the route on December 3, 2016, making it just longer than Emirates’ Dubai (DXB) to Auckland (AKL) route.

The new route is approximately 9,030 miles, making it about 210 miles longer than Emirates’ previous record holder. The DOH-AKL flight will be approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes, whereas the westbound flight will clock in at 17 hours and 30 minutes.

Here’s the full daily schedule:

  • QR0920 Doha (DOH) 2:10am Departure ⇒ Auckland (AKL) 4:30am (+1) Arrival
  • QR 0921 Auckland (AKL) 2:40pm Departure ⇒ Doha (DOH) 10:10pm Arrival

The new route will be operated on Qatar’s two-cabin 777-200LR aircraft, which has 42 flat-bed seats in business and 217 standard economy seats. To book this flight with American Airlines miles before the devaluation on March 22, you’ll need 30,000 AAdvantage miles in economy or 45,000 in business. Following March 22, you’ll need 42,500 AAdvantage miles in economy or 80,000 in business. Award availability is fantastic at the moment — as you can see below, it’s even possible to book business class on the inaugural flight from Doha.

Three business-class award seats on the inaugural flight.
Three business-class award seats on the inaugural flight.

Qatar and Emirates seem to be competing against each other for the title of world’s longest flight, with Singapore Airlines giving them a run last year, but that nearly 9,500-mile flight between New York and Singapore has yet to launch. Emirates had planned to introduce the world’s longest flight (at the time) earlier this year between Dubai (DXB) and Panama (PTY), but that has been delayed twice, and at this point, it’s no longer the record breaker. Meanwhile, the domestic carrier with the longest route is United with its San Francisco to Singapore service, which comes in at 8,430 miles.

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