Qatar Airways has delayed the launch of the world’s longest direct flight — from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand — by two months because of the late delivery of Airbus A350s, an airline spokeswoman said.
“I can confirm we are looking at February. It is due to aircraft availability, specifically the delay of delivery of A350s,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.
Qatar Airways increased pressure on Europe’s Airbus over aircraft reliability last month, saying it had some “issues” with the A350 passenger jet barely a year after it entered service.
Its 17.5 hour service to Auckland, which would eclipse the current record holder by nearly 500 miles, had been due to start on Dec. 3.
At present, the world’s longest flight is a Qantas flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney.
The flight distance between Doha and Auckland is approximately 9,030 miles.