Emirates Airline has announced plans to launch daily services to Panama City, which will be the longest non-stop flight in the world when travelling westwards at 17 hours 35 minutes.
The service, which launches on February 1 2016, will be Emirates’ first gateway destination in Central America.
Service to Panama City, Panama’s capital and largest city by population, will commence with a daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, the airline said in a statement.
It added that the aircraft can also carry up to 15 tonnes of cargo. Key imports to the country include pharmaceuticals, machinery products, iron/steel rods, and electronics. Service to Panama City will operate through Tocumen International Airport.
Ideally 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.
'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, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group.
'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.'
Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice President of the Republic of Panama, added: “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.”
Later this year, Emirates will be adding four additional routes to its global network including Mashhad, Iran and Orlando in September, Bamako, Mali in October, and Bologna in November.