Qatar Airways delays launch of Doha-Auckland service

Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways has postponed its planned Doha-Auckland service, which will be the world’s longest commercial flight.

The decision follows complaints last week by chief executive Akbar Al Baker that delays in deliveries of the all-new Airbus A350 would result in cutbacks in some of the airline’s services.

Mr Al Baker was speaking at the arrival of the first Doha-Adelaide service, which also introduces the A350 to Australasian skies.

The daily Auckland service was planned to launch on December 3 but will now be put back to February 1.

The route will use a Boeing 777-200LR, which is what Emirates also uses on its Dubai-Auckland direct flight, which launched last month.

That flight, at just over 17 hours for the westbound leg, is the world’s longest flight.

The longer distance between Doha and Auckland will add another hour, taking the time to more than 18 hours.

Qatar is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which will enable Qatar to join forces with American Airlines in a round-the-world deal through Auckland.

American will resume flying to New Zealand with a Los Angeles-Auckland service from June.

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