Qatar Airways set to smash world’s longest flight record

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Travelling in economy can be many people’s biggest bugbear when it comes to flying. So how about enduring it for 18 hours?

Qatar Airways has announced plans for the world’s longest flight from Doha to Auckland. Covering 9,034 miles and taking a staggering 18 hours and 34 minutes, according to journey planning website travelmath.com, it would be the cornerstone of the airline’s bold expansion plans.

Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, explained to Bloomberg Business that the company would be launching another mammoth route between Doha and Santiago in Chile, spanning 8,956 miles. It also plans to charter flights to the likes of Marrakech, Lisbon and Phuket, although no start dates have been announced thus far.

The proposed Doha-Auckland route will surpass the legendary Qantas Dallas-Sydney route. For years, the Australian carrier’s route from Australasia to North America took up to 16 hours and 55 minutes but new Middle East routes are soon to overtake it. Prior to Qatar Airways’ launch, Emirates will fly from Dubai to Panama City on March 31st which will cover 8,595 miles and take around 17 hours and 41 minutes.

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Qantas’ service has been using the double-decker Airbus A380-800 to cross the Pacific Ocean but both Qatar Airways and Emirates will be using Boeing 777-200LR aircraft which have space for 217 passengers in economy class and 42 in premium.

While the Middle Eastern pair are gearing up to smash new records, they could be blown out of the water should Singapore Airlines revive its New York-Singapore service. The journey between the two cities was discontinued in November 2013 but it could be put back into use by 2018.

The airline is reportedly working alongside manufacturer Airbus to create a variation of the A350-900 aircraft. This would make the route more economically viable than ever before. Should it be re-launched it would take 18 hours and 50 minutes.

So what would you do to pass the time aboard one of these mammoth journeys?

Cover photo credit: sezaun via Flickr.