The return, which typically faces more headwinds, is scheduled for awhopping 17 hours, 30 minutes, according to the carriers website. Qatar Airways new service edges it past Middle East rival Emirates, whose 8,819-mile route from Dubai to Auckland clocks in at 16 hours, 5 minutes, in the direction of New Zealand and at 17 hours, 20 minutes on the return. With that, Qatar Airways can now claim the worlds longest flight both by time and by distance, according to air travel intelligence company OAG. That latter distinction, however, comes with something of an asterisk. Air India also has emerged as a contender for the worlds longest flight after it shifted the routing of its Delhi-San Francisco route this past fall. Instead of flying the shortest distance between the cities via a polar route, the airline now routes its Delhi-to-San cheapest flights to San Francisco from knoxville tn Francisco route over the Pacific, The Times of India reports. Despite the longer distance - about 9,400 miles for the flight - the tailwinds common on that particular route actually help the airline save fuel even compared to the shorter polar route. Reuters Auckland Airport welcomes the first Qatar Airways flight with a traditional water cannon salute. Without the voluntary longer routing, the distance on the Delhi-San Francisco route comesin at onlyabout 7,700 miles. That wouldnt even place it among the worlds 25 longest routes by distance, according to OAG's data. As for Qatar Airways, it's currently flying its new Doha-Auckland flights on 259-seat Boeing 777 aircraft. The first flight on the route took off Sunday morning Doha time and touched down in Auckland on MondayNew Zealand time (Sunday U.S. time).
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