Baku, February 4, AZERTAC
When Qatar Airways flight 920 takes off tomorrow from Doha on its 16 hour 20 minute journey to Auckland, it will take the title of the world’s longest route, according to flightradar24.com. The return flight, at 17 hours 30 minutes, will be the longest flight in the world. The Boeing 777-200LR operating the round trip flight between Doha and Auckland will cover 29,066 kilometers.
The difference in flight time between the flight to Auckland and the flight back to Doha is thanks to prevailing high-altitude winds. The outbound flight is able to take advantage of favorable tail winds, while the return flight isn’t so lucky. Air India faced a similar quandary with its Delhi-San Francisco flights, but the location of both cities enabled them to come up with a novel solution: add 1,000 km to the flight, but arrive over 2 hours earlier.
Qatar’s Doha-Auckland route will surpass Emirates’ from Dubai as the longest route in world by a combined 600 km, as measured by the great circle distance between the airports. Qatar’s previous longest flight is currently the 8th longest flight in the world between Doha and Los Angeles.
The Boeing 777-200LR is specifically designed for ultra-long-range flights, with a maximum range of 17,445 kilometers. Qatar Airways uses its fleet of nine 777-200LRs on many of its longest routes, including Los Angeles (13,346 km), Houston (12,932 km), and Atlanta (11,984 km). Qatar has also used the aircraft on its shortest route, the 148km flight between Doha and Bahrain.