Aviation News

August 14, 2015

Emirates To Begin Serving Central America With World’s Longest Flight

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By: Douglas Wint
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On August 12, Emirates announced that daily service to Panama City, Panama (PTY) will commence on February 1, 2016. The westbound leg from Dubai (DXB) will surpass Qantas’ flight between Dallas-Fort Worth and Sydney as the world’s longest, and is scheduled at 17 hours 35 minutes (15 hours 45 minutes eastbound). Emirates will fly the route, a great circle distance of 8,588 miles (about 13,821 km), with the Boeing 777-200LR set in a three-class configuration with accommodations for 256 passengers and 15 tons of cargo. Emirates is not lost on the fact that geography is a natural physical benefit of Panama – itself an isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and centrally located between North and South America – and therefore, underlies the country’s importance in global trade.

The scheduled flight numbers and times are as follows:

  • EK251 departs DXB at 8:05 a.m. and arrives the same day in PTY at 4:40 p.m.
  • EK252 departs PTY at 10:10 p.m. and arrives in DXB the following night at 10:55 p.m

Despite being the new record holder for the longest operating flight, it is shy of Singapore Airline’s former service between Changi Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Discontinued in November 2013, that flight covered a distance of over 9,500 miles and averaged over 18 hours. That non-stop service was terminated (almost concurrently with their non-stop flights to Los Angeles International Airport) because the financial performance was lackluster, notwithstanding the all-business class A340-500 offering. The Qantas flight between Dallas and Sydney has held the record of the world’s longest flight since September 2014.

(Emirates 777-200LR photo by Aero Icarus via the CC BY-SA 2.0 License)