Auckland Airport has welcomed Qatar Airways this morning as the airline launches the world’s longest commercial passenger flight on the Auckland-Doha route.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical commercial, says, “We welcome Qatar Airways to Auckland and New Zealand. They are an award-winning airline which offers travellers access to more than 150 destinations worldwide, high quality inflight service, and the opportunity for a stopover in Qatar.”
Qatar Airways will operate a daily service year-round between Doha and Auckland using a Boeing 777 aircraft. Thenew service provides more than 189,000 seats and 6,000 tonnes of cargo capacity on the route each year. Auckland Airport estimates that this will translate into a $198 million boost to the New Zealand economy.
“We expect the new route to be particularly popular with European visitors to New Zealand, and that this will help New Zealand continue to grow and diversify its inbound visitor markets and increase tourism spending around the country. New Zealanders will also value having an exciting new airline option when they travel to the United Kingdom and Europe.”
The new route is 14,535 kilometres long, with a flying time of 17 hours and 30 minutes from Auckland to Doha and 16 hours and 10 minutes from Doha to Auckland. The Auckland to Doha flight is the world’s longest commercial passenger flight by flying time.
Mr Tasker says that Qatar Airways is arriving at a time when Auckland Airport is investing more than $1 million every working day on its core aeronautical infrastructure. This level of infrastructure investment will likely continue into the near future.
“The major upgrade of our international departure area is well underway, as is the expansion of Pier B of the international terminal which will add two more gates that can each accommodate an A380 or two smaller aircraft. We are also progressing the design of the new domestic section of our combined domestic and international terminal, and undertaking further improvements to our roads and public transport infrastructure.“