International airlines have revealed their long-haul plans to win a contest to break the record for the world’s longest direct flight – to satisfy Mankind’s unquenchable desire to travel the globe in a pressurised tube.
Qatar Airlines has thrown its hat in the ring, intending to launch a new record-breaking long flight on a Doha-Auckland route. The direct journey between Qatar and New Zealand will take 18 hr 34 min, and cover a distance of more than 9,000 miles. State-owned Qatar Airways would thereby overtake the current record-holding longest passenger flight – a Qantas service between Dallas and Sydney, Australia, which takes almost 17 hours to travel 8,600 miles.
Due to the low fuel consumption of the latest generation of engines, today’s aircraft have much longer autonomy than even just a few years ago. The technical dream of flying to the Antipodes without the need to refuel somewhere, has become reality. The battle to lead this race is now unstoppable, with new records knocking previous ones within months. And it is the hotly competitive aviation hubs of the Gulf States that are setting the pace in this international tournament.