Emirates Launching World's Longest Passenger Flight

Passengers from Manila wishing to go to Central America will soon have one more flight option that can be completed with just one stop-over. Gulf carrier Emirates will launch a flight to Panama City from Dubai International Airport on February 1, 2016.  The westbound journey from Dubai to the Central American city is expected to be the world's longest flight.  

Image by: Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia
The flight EK251 lasts for 17 hours and 35 minutes.  It departs Dubai at 8.05 am and arrives in Panama City at 4.40 pm.  The return flight EK252 is shorter and lasts for 15 hours and 45 minutes.  It departs Panama City at 10.30 pm and arrives at 11.15 pm the following day.  The Boeing 777-200LR aircraft will operate the route.

Passengers coming from Manila can experience convenient connections as EK335 arrives at Dubai  at 5.35 am.  This two-and-a-half hour layover allows passengers to enjoy the world-class facilities at Dubai International Airport.

Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Image by: roevin/Wikimedia
To keep passengers occupied on what will be the world's longest flight, Emirates provides an in-flight entertainment system branded as ICE, which stands for information, communication and entertainment.  It has over 2,000 channels of audio, video and games.

Panama City
Image by: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose/Wikimedia
Prior to the launch of this flight, Filipino passengers who wish to travel to Central America would usually need to transfer via an airport in the United States.  Unlike most other international airports, airside transfers between international flights at US airports are not straightforward, if at all possible. Passengers need to pass through a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) passport control checkpoint before proceeding to their next flight.  For Filipinos, this also means applying for a transit visa at the US embassy and going through the payment of application fees, booking of appointments among other things.  Even then, securing a US transit visa for the sole purpose of going to Central America is not guaranteed.  But with a flight via Dubai, passengers do not need to worry about a transit visa.

Panama City will become the fourth Latin American city in the Emirates network.  Emirates currently has scheduled flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

In recent years, most Gulf carriers have expanded services to the western hemisphere.  At the moment, nine of the world's twenty longest flights are flown using either Emirates, Etihad or Qatar Airways.  In addition, airports in the region have offered services to enhance the experience of passengers.  For instance Abu Dhabi airport now offers passengers on select flights to the US pre-clearance where they clear CBP formalities at Abu Dhabi.  This way upon arrival at their US port-of-entry, they can just get their bag and head out the door or proceed directly to their next flight without further checks.

The title for the world's longest flight is currently held by Qantas' QF8, which flies from Dallas to Sydney and takes 17 hours.


  1. Which aircraft has the longest range the 777-300ER or 777-200LR?

    1. If that's the case, this should probably one of the type of aircraft PAL should be getting?

  2. Pinoy and Pinay adventurers, this is now your chance to fly to the western hemisphere without Uncle Sam's intervention and hassles. Go find your luck in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and some little island countries there. I bet you that in two year's time, these countries will be seeing lots of East Indians and Chinese merchants and little businessmen or enterpreneurs. I still remember those patient Bombay (Indian) businessmen who loan pesos to locals and patiently go back to them biking everyday to collect their mini-capital and little interest. Very helpful way and very interesting business endeavour as well. This Emirates flights will also open a floodgate of visiting Asians to Central and South America which may improve their economies but can ruin their immigration and security policies. Let's wait and see!

    1. With this adventure comes a challenge for you to really be forced to speak Spanish now! You see, you did no like Spanish subjects in your high schools! Now, you will suffer more. So you younger Pinoy generation, go back to your English and Spanish languages because your country exports manpower 98% of the time now!

    2. King Filifi 2nd (Philip of Spain) must still be fuming with anger from his grave due to these subjects of him being hard-headed to learn his kingdom's language. At least they learned their lesson now! Tigas ulo kayo!

    3. Exactamente Juan de la Cruz. Algunos Pinoys tienen actitudes malos y cabezas tan duras! Resulta ahora: terrible mal, he he he he. De Gustavo Guzman, Madrid

  3. I was reading post about that why people like Emirates Airline Its really good airline to fly. The longest flight is from Dubai to Orlando.


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