Qatar Airways launches longest flight with Auckland route

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 8, 2017

The head of Qatar Airlines Akbar Al Baker has slammed Air New Zealand for withdrawing from an agreement before it touched down on our shores, saying the move will prevent Kiwi travellers from connecting to a wide worldwide flight network.

Qatar Airways has launched the world's longest scheduled commercial airline route with the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.

Passengers planning to travel to New Zealand are encouraged to include a stopover in Doha as part of their journey.

That is the furthest distance between any two cities linked by direct flights.

The decision disrupted flight schedules at world's major airlines. The launching event is considered a important in the relationship of New Zealand-Qatar: it means the opening up greater people to people and business to business connections between the two countries.

"New Zealanders will also value having an exciting new airline option when they travel to the United Kingdom and Europe".

The new route trumps its Middle Eastern rival Emirates, whose Dubai-Auckland service, launched in March previous year, is a shade shorter at 8,824 miles (14,200km).

"Air New Zealand has a number of commercial arrangements with partner airlines and is under no obligation to offer preferred rates to competitors", she said.

Group Chief Executive Qtar Airways, H.E. Akbar Al Baker attends at Qatar Airways Gala at the Fox Theatre on May 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld global alliance.

"That is something very unusual for me for an airline that wants to increase its business", he said. He joked about the airline "being scared" of Qatar Airways' expansion plans.

Auckland Airport Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Littlewood, said: "The Qatar Airways service we welcomed to Auckland Airport yesterday will contribute around NZD $198m to the New Zealand economy each year".

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