Emirates chairman tests out 17-hour direct flight to New Zealand – in economy

Chairman revealed he likes 'to be close to the people', as airline prepares to launch longest commercial flight in the world
Emirates chairman tests out 17-hour direct flight to New Zealand – in economy
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. (Getty Images)
By Sarah Townsend
Wed 10 Feb 2016 09:28 AM

Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed has revealed he tested the airline's new 17-hour flight to Auckland - in economy.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed said: "I have tried it [the new route] - 17-18 hours in economy."

He added that he does not mind the prospect of flying in the back of the plane, because he "likes to be close to the people".

Emirates launches commercial flights to Auckland in two weeks' time, and its second 'ultra long haul' service, to Panama, launches at the end of March.

At between 17 and 18 hours long, the planned new services will be among the longest direct flights offered by any airline in the world.

But Sheikh Ahmed said: "We did not plan these flights to get more publicity - it was to make money. We want to service these hubs and our [geographical] location means we can."

The chairman and CEO also revealed that Emirates is planning an exciting new in-flight innovation expected to launch either by the end of this year or beginning of next. He declined to comment further. The airline was the first to introduce in-flight showers in first class when it was introduced in 2008.

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.