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World's Biggest Airlines Are Racing For This Much-Coveted Flying Title

Travelers Today       By    Chiqui Guyjoco

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:51 AM EDT

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world's longest flight, qatar airways, etihad, Etihad Airways, Qantas, qantas airways, Singapore Airlines, klm

It took 16 hours and 23 minutes to fly across 10 time zones and reach its destination. Qatar Airways landed from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand as the world's longest flight, stealing the coveted flying title from Middle Eastern rival Emirates.

The crown for the world's longest flight went to Qatar Airways after it flew 14,535km (9,032 miles) non-stop in February. Qatar Airways said its Boeing 777-200LR arrived five minutes ahead of schedule with four pilots on board as well as 15 cabin crew serving over 1,000 passengers, according to The Telegraph. The passengers enjoyed at least 1,036 meals, 1,100 hot drinks, 2,000 cold beverages and even more than enough time to finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Emirates briefly enjoyed the crown after flying 14,200km (8,824 miles) from Dubai to Auckland in March 2016. The new record means Qantas Airways, heralded as the world's safest airline, would have to find a longer distance route if it plans to also snatch the title as the world's longest flight. Qantas announced it will fly 14,498km from Perth to London in March next year, according to CNN.

The record for the world's longest flight first belonged to Dutch airline KLM when it flew 7,000 nautical-miles from Amsterdam to Jakarta. It was a grueling journey that took six days and 15-20 stops. With better technological advances, carriers now only need to contend with economic and physiological challenges to becoming the world's longest flight carrier.

Singapore Airlines cited low profitability when it discontinued the world's longest nonstop flight in 2013. Technological improvements and improved fuel-efficiency solved this problem and made long distances flying profitable again. Where progress seemed to be slow lies on providing better flying experience for the long-haul travelers. Flying the world's longest flight could have a negative health impact for travelers - including those flying business or first class.  

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