Qatar flight to New Zealand becomes world's longest
“The launch of our new service to Auckland is an important milestone for Qatar Airways as we expand both in the region and globally across our network, providing more options and better connections to exciting business and leisure destinations in Europe and the Middle East,” Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways Group, said.
Al Baker traveled on the inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland and was greeted upon arrival by Todd McClay, New Zealand’s minister for Trade and State Owned Enterprises. Auckland Airport Chief Executive Adrian Littlewood was also on hand. The trip took place on Waitangi Day, which commemorates the treaty that founded New Zealand.
“Arriving in Auckland on Waitangi Day and achieving the title of world’s longest flight for the return record-breaking service, which covers a distance of 14,535 kilometres and lasts 17 hours and 30 minutes, makes this an even more momentous occasion for Qatar Airways and provides another accomplishment to celebrate in this, our 20th year flying the flag internationally for Qatar," Al Baker said.
Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand ambassador to the State of Qatar, called the direct-service flight a major step for growing bilateral relations between the countries.
“Welcoming Qatar Airways to New Zealand, through this direct service, is a significant event in the New Zealand Qatar relationship, opening up greater people-to-people and business-to-business connections between our two countries,” Clarke-Watson said.