DOHA – The world’s longest commercial flight landed in New Zealand on Monday after a 9,032-mile (14,535km) trip from Doha.
A Boeing 777-200, which was carrying 259 passengers, served by 15 flight attendants and four pilots, touched down the landing stripe in Auckland after the non-stop flight from Doha 15 minutes ahead of scheduled 16 hours and 30 minutes.
Qatar Airways launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland taking off eight minutes early on Sunday, a company spokeswoman said.
Flight-QR920 left the Qatari capital at 05:02 (0202 GMT) and landed in New Zealand at 07:30 local time on Monday (1830 GMT), according to New Zealand Herald.
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) February 6, 2017
It passed over 10 time zones, and five countries.
“But even that flying time may be looked on jealously by passengers on the return flight which, due to high-altitude winds, will take 17 hours and 30 minutes,” according to the company website.
On the flight to Auckland there were four pilots on board and 15 cabin crew, who served 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and more than 1,030 meals.
Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, was also on board of the passenger jet, according to the NZ Herald.
In keeping with international tradition to welcome inaugural flights, the Auckland airport rescue service showered the plane with water cannons on arrival.
Last March, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200km (8,824 miles).
Air India’s Delhi-San Francisco flight claims the world’s longest by flying distance, but when measured on the surface of the Earth Doha and Auckland are further apart.