Qatar Airways has extended its network with the first Doha – Auckland service, covering a distance of 14,535 kilometres in 17 hours 30 minutes – now the world’s longest flight.
The daily Boeing 777 flight offers 116 tonnes of belly-hold capacity every week to support growing imports of raw, industrial and consumer materials into New Zealand.
Qatar Airways Cargo offers its QR Fresh temperature-controlled handling and storage product at its Hamad International Airport cargo terminal to deliver perishable products such as dairy produce, meat and fruits from Auckland into the Middle East and on to major European cities.
New Zealand ambassador to Qatar, Jeremy Clarke-Watson says the route will not only benefit passengers but also cargo, commenting: “We also look forward to working with Qatar Airways and New Zealand exporters to maximise the potential of the direct service’s freight capacity, which opens up a whole new market for our exporters particularly in fresh food and beverage.”
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker travelled on the inaugural flight and was welcomed by New Zealand’s minister of trade and state owned enterprises, Todd McClay, and Auckland Airport chief executive, Adrian Littlewood.
Al Baker says Auckland services are an important milestone saying: “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.”