For those who missed it last week, we did too. And of course, because the plane didn’t land anywhere, while crossing half the globe. Flying high, Emirates just finished the first flight of its regular service on what is now the world’s longest non-stop air route.
Flying from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Auckland, New Zealand, one of the company’s many Airbus A380s opened the service. Covering 8,819 miles (14,193 km) the flight landed on 2 March 2016 after about 17 hours and 15 minutes in the air. Emirates now beats Australian Qantas, which provides a regular service between Dallas, Texas (USA), and Sydney, Australia. This second longest non-stop air route is ‘only’ 8,576 miles (13,802 km) and lasts about 16 hours and 55 minutes.
Beat the records
At the end of March Emirates adds another record to its increasingly impressive portfolio: the world’s longest non-stop air route time wise. It will be the Southwest Asian’s first service to Latin America and will bring passengers from Dubai to Panama City and vice versa in a planned 17 timer and 35 minutes – but could very well be close to 15 hours when the tailwinds are good. The biggest competition in the record business will come from Qatar, due to launch record challenging services from Qatar to Santiago (Chile) and Auckland (New Zealand) in 2016 that will beat others.
The Airbus A380 used to open the longest non-stop route measured in distance was part of the show. Emirates will normally operate the Boeing 777-200LR on this line.
No less than three brand new Boeing 777s in one simultaneous delivery, setting the total to no less than 150 Triple Sevens delivered. That was the score for Emirates Airline this week. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the 777 and also the only airline ever to operate all six of the 777 variants introduced into service by Boeing. The triple delivery marks the first time in 15 years that Boeing has delivered three 777s at one time to a single customer.
Dubai-based Emirates ordered its first Boeing 777s in 1992 with delivery beginning in June 1996. The airline’s order book for the 777 continued to grow over the following years including a then record-breaking order for 50 777-300ERs at the 2011 Dubai Airshow and 150 777Xs at the 2013 edition.
Beginning in February 2016, Emirates will operate the longest non-stop scheduled service flight of the world.
Lasting about 17 hours and 36 minutes a Boeing 777-200 will take up to 276 passengers and up to 15 tons of cargo from Dubai to Panama City (Tocumen International Airport) – flying westbound – and back.
The Southwest Asian airliner is growing steadily, adding other new routs as well, including to/from Orlando and Bologna.
EVA Air and Boeing have finalized an order for five 777 Freighters. The order, valued at more than $1.5 billion at list prices, will represent the first 777 freighters to join EVA Air’s fleet, and the first to be delivered to a Taiwanese airline. Boeing first announced EVA Air’s intent to order triple seven cargo aircraft at the Paris Air Show last month.
EVA Air currently operates more than 35 Boeing airplanes, including 20 777-300ERs. With 13 additional 777-300ERs on order – both direct purchased and leased – EVA will become one of the largest 777 operators in the world. The carrier plans to grow its operational twin-aisle fleet to more than 60 airplanes by the end of 2025.
“We are pleased to be the first airline in Taiwan to introduce Boeing 777 freighters,” EVA President Austin Cheng said in his remarks. “EVA participated in development of the Boeing 777-300ER and became a launch customer. We now fly 21 Boeing 777-300ERs and have 13 more on order. We have made the right choice as our experience with this aircraft’s advanced technology and excellent performance indicates what we can expect from the Boeing 777 freighters. These freighters will be the backbone of our air cargo service for the next decade.”
According to the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast, global air freight traffic is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 4.7 percent, doubling the cargo traffic over the next 20 years.
Boeing, the Lufthansa Group and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have finalized an order for three additional 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, valued at $990 million at current list prices. This order, previously attributed to an unidentified customer, follows SWISS’ 2013 order for six 777-300ERs.
“I am delighted that with the formal signing of the contract, SWISS has set a further milestone in its long-haul fleet renewal,” said Harry Hohmeister, CEO of SWISS. The new and existing aircraft will form the backbone of the Swiss flag-carrier’s long-haul fleet renewal.
The Swiss airline is part of the Lufthansa Group, serving 106 destinations in 49 countries from the Swiss cities of Zurich, Geneva and Basel, carrying over 16 million passengers a year with a fleet of 95 airplanes.
The 777-300ER carries 386 passengers in a standard three-class configuration up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 kilometers), on non-stop routes.