Emirates will soon overtake Qantas for the title of the world's longest airline route.
The carrier has announced that it will add nonstop service from its Dubai hub to Panama City, Panama. Not only will that give Emirates its first destination in Central America, but it also will earn the airline the distinction of having the world's longest passenger airline route.
Emirates will fly Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on the route, which will launch 1 February 2016.
Bloomberg News says "the flight will traverse 8,590 miles, according to the Great Circle Mapper website, outstripping Qantas's Sydney-Dallas route by (about 10 miles)."
The flight time for the Dubai-to-Panama leg will be scheduled at 17 hours, 35 minutes.
"Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers travelling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onward to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America," Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement to The National of Dubai. "We're also pleased to be the only commercial airline to offer a daily, first class service to travellers on what will be the world's longest non-stop flight."
Once it begins, the flight will knock current title-holder Qantas out of the top spot. The Australian carrier's route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney – which began operating as a round trip route just this past October – clocks in at about 8,580 miles (7,452 nautical miles).
Singapore Airlines previously operated an even longer flight connecting the city-state to Newark, New Jersey, but the carrier scrapped that in 2013.
Emirates is backed by the government of Dubai and has expanded rapidly by routing international transit passengers and cargo through its hub in the Gulf commercial centre.
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