Emirates airline will fly to Panama City from next year in what will be the longest non-stop flight in the world, taking 17 hours and 35 minutes.
The service will begin on February 1, offering a three-class layout, operated by a Boeing 777-200 LR to Tocumen International Airport.
“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 Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates.
“We’re also pleased to be the only commercial airline to offer a daily, first-class service to travellers on what will be the world’s longest non-stop flight.”
According to the International Air Transport Association, Latin American airlines reported a 5.9 per cent rise in international traffic in June compared to a year earlier as regional trade volumes showed strong improvement during the first half of this year.
Panama City operates two of the busiest ports in Latin America, including the Colon Free Trade Zone – the world’s second largest such zone. The Boeing 777-200 LR can carry up to 15 tonnes of cargo. Key imports to the country include pharmaceuticals, machinery products, iron and steel rods and electronics.
Additionally, the continuing expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to double its trade capacity by next year.
Later this year, Emirates will be adding 4 additional routes to its global network including Mashhad, Iran and Orlando in September; Bamako, Mali in October; and Bologna in November.
The airline has been increasing its capacity to a number of destinations recently including Birmingham, Madrid, Melbourne and London while announcing a codeshare with Thailand-based Bangkok Airways.