There’s great news for people who dread stopovers on long haul flights. Emirates has launched what should be the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight, from Auckland to Dubai.
Stopovers can be frustrating, and a lot of people would prefer to simply carry on flying rather than having to land, wait in an airport, and board another plane. Now, thanks to Emirates, if you are flying the long journey from New Zealand to Dubai, you will be able to skip the stop off.
Passengers will now get to bypass the normal stop off in Australia and shave three hours off their total travel time. The debut of this route was carried out on a double-decker A380, but it has emerged that the Boeing 777-200LR will fly the 14,200 km route regularly.
It was supposed to be the longest flight by duration as well as distance travelled, but the plane ended up landing too early. The Auckland-Dubai portion was estimated to take around 17 hours and 15 minutes, but in the end took only 16 hours and 24 minutes, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Prior to this, the longest flight was a Qantas flight between Dallas and Sydney which takes about 16 hours and 55 minutes (technically they still hold this title for flight time but not distance) Emirates ‘will be using flexible routes, which can vary by day, taking advantage of tailwinds and avoiding head winds to reduce the time in the air.’
Emirates are confident that there will be a lot of interest in this route, and it will boost tourism as well as making the journey more convenient for customers. ‘We anticipate high demand for the route, providing a further boost to inbound tourist traffic into New Zealand that now exceeds three million a year. We also expect the service to be popular with New Zealanders seeking faster connections to Europe and the Middle East.’
New Zealand’s transport minister Simon Bridges was also pleased with the announcement of this new flight. ‘Direct flights will encourage even more trade and tourism between our two countries, by offering more choice to passengers and freight customers.’
This new record may be short-lived, because Emirates plan to offer an even longer flight from Dubai to Panama City which is expected to take around 17 hours and 35 minutes. Qatar Airways are also planning on opening a longer route to Santiago, Chile. It seems there is growing interest and demand for flights without stopovers.
Countries and cities linked to these new longer routes will most likely benefit, as flying between the two destinations will be much easier. For operators, this is a chance to offer something that hasn’t previously been possible, and avoid all the hassle that changeovers bring. Sometimes people miss their connecting flights if one flight is delayed, but now this won’t be a problem, because the plane will complete the entire journey.
The main benefit for consumers is the convenience of being able to fly straight from one place to another without a frustrating and time consuming stopover. It’s just the really long flight time that some people might find difficult adjusting to. That’s a lot of time to be in their air, and passengers will have a fair amount of time to kill whilst sitting in their seat.
On such a long flight, how can you pass the time? 17 hours is a long time to be sat on a plane, so you might want to plan some things to occupy your time. Emirates suggest passengers will keep entertained by their 2,000 channels of entertainment and information, but you can only watch TV and films for so long.
They also have gourmet meals and fine wines, but once you have finished your dinner, what should you do? You might want to bring a few good books to get suck in to, as well as treating yourself to some magazines.
Other trivial ways to pass the time include listening to your favourite album, playing crosswords and puzzles or playing cards on your own or with a fellow passenger.
You could just put your feet up, watch movies, try and sleep for the majority of the flight and get stuck into the in-flight menu. However, some people may want to use this time to work on something meaningful and use their time in a productive way. You might want to use the time to work on a personal project for example or to catch up on some work.
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