From Dubai to Panama, the world’s longest non-stop flight is to begin early next year from Emirates Air. The new route is a record breaker for flight times. Set to start on Feb. 1, the Boeing 777-200 flight, will be a spine-stiffening 17 hours and 35 minutes.
“Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers traveling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onward to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates.
The International Air Transport Association reported that the Latin American airline showed a 6% increase in international traffic in June compared to last year. Also, regional trade volumes showed strong improvement in the first half of this year.
Panama City has two of Latin America’s busiest shipping ports, as well as the world’s second largest free trade zone in Colon. The Panama Canal expansion project, scheduled to be completed by 2016, is expected to double the country’s trade capacity by next year. With a cargo capacity of 15 tons, the Boeing 777-200, and the connection to the Dubai hub, could have a great impact on shipping volumes. The key imports to Panama include pharmaceuticals, machinery products, iron and steel rods, and electronics.
Emirates will be the first commercial airlines to provide full service daily flights, for passengers and freight, between these two global transport hubs.
Later this year, Emirates will be adding 4 additional routes to its global network including Mashhad, Iran and Orlando in September; Bamako, Mali in October; and Bologna, Italy in November.
The airline has been increasing its capacity to a number of destinations recently including Birmingham, Madrid, Melbourne and London while announcing a codeshare with Thailand-based Bangkok Airways.