With a few red eyes, passengers on Qatar’s longest nonstop air route arrived at New Zealand’s Auckland Airport on 6th February.

RECORD BREAKING FLIGHT

 
At a whopping 14,535 kilometers, the Doha-Auckland route enters the record books and deposes the previous record holder, which was Emirates with the Dubai-Auckland route (which is 342km shorter).

AIR INDIA ROUTE IS NOT THE SHORTEST ONE

 
Air India’s San Francisco-Delhi route could theoretically claim to be the longest journey over 15,300km, but the methodology measures the shortest possible route, which Air India’s fails to qualify as (being over the Pacific rather than the Atlantic).

IT’S A VERY LONG-HAUL ON THIS LONG-HAUL

Flying time for this path is also long, with an eye-watering 17 hours plus.The flight is so long that passengers will experience not one, but two sun rises.

EVERYONE GETS A PRIZE

To add to the occasion, passengers in business class were treated to a selection of New Zealand wines, and others were offered New Zealand smoothies and cakes. Everyone one onboard was presented with gifts from Qatar management.

DOHA ‘BEARS’ IT WELL

Fun fact about Doha is that the grand foyer features a 23ft sculpted teddy bear, canary yellow in color, that sits inside a lamp. Its value is estimated at $6.8 million !.

SALUTED AT AUCKLAND

Once landed at Auckland the new arrivals were treated to a water cannon salute by local firefighters and a traditional Maori welcome.The flight was timed to arrive on New Zealand’s national holiday of Waitangi Day (which celebrates the Treaty founding New Zealand in 1840). So New Zealand was probably celebrating anyway.

NEW ROUTE MEANS MORE CHOICE

Auckland is Qatar’s fifth destination in Australasia: following Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide. The new flight is expected to appeal to customers to Europe: for example Auckland-Doha-Amsterdam and Auckland-Doha-London. It is also thought to be of particular interest to business class customers, linking the Australasia to the Middle East and beyond.

The latest long-haul flight represents another chapter in vigorous expansion by the three Gulf Airlines: Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad.