Emirates to Launch World’s Longest Flight: Dubai – Panama City

Both a vibrant metropolis and gateway to tropical destinations, Panama City is also the economic and financial centre of Panama with the major industries being international banking, commerce, and tourism. Located between North and South America, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Panama City has developed an unrivalled transportation and communication network.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier Emirates Airline will enter the record books in February 2016 when it replaces Qantas Airways as operating the longest non-stop flight in the world. The Gulf hub carrier is to introduce a new daily link between Dubai International Airport and Tocumen International Airport in Panama City from February 1, 2016.

The new service will be the longest non-stop flight in the world (17 hours 35 minutes in the Westbound direction) and will be Emirates’ first gateway destination in Central America. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR in a three-class layout – eight in First, 42 in Business, and 216 in Economy. The aircraft will also carry up to 15 tonnes of belly-hold cargo with key imports to the country including pharmaceuticals, machinery products, iron/steel rods, and electronics.

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“Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers travelling 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 His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group.

Both a vibrant metropolis and gateway to tropical destinations, Panama City is also the economic and financial centre of Panama with the major industries being international banking, commerce, and tourism. Located between North and South America, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Panama City has developed an unrivalled transportation and communication network.

It operates two of the busiest ports in Latin America, including the Colon Free Trade Zone – the world’s second largest free trade zone. Additionally, the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal has helped contribute to Panama’s economic growth in recent years. Its main air transport gateway, Tocumen International Airport, called the ‘Hub of the Americas’, has become a major transit point for local carrier Copa Airlines across the region.

“It is gratifying to see how diplomatic efforts focused on generating development and prosperity for Panama materialise,” said Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice President of the Republic of Panama. “New doors to the country will open with a direct connection to the Middle East – a strong and thriving region with great synergies to both Panama and Latin America.”

The selection of Panama City as its first destination in Central America is a logical, albeit certainly surprising selection for Emirates. Over recent years the UAE carrier has taken greater advantage of commercial ties with partners to offer a wider selection of destinations onward from its own flights. Its recent selection of Orlando was partly driven by onward connection opportunities into Mexico (see ‘New Emirates Link Worth Around $100 Million to Orlando') and the significant growth of Copa Airlines at Panama City will support flows across Central America.