'World's longest' commercial flight lands in New Zealand

The new Qatar Airways service reached Auckland after a 14,500 km trip from Doha

The plane landed in Auckland after a 14,500 km trip from Doha

Qatar Airways flight

The 'world's longest' non-stop commercial flight landed in Auckland, New Zealand last night after its 14,500 km trip from Doha.

The Qatar Airways flight - which will operate daily - had a flight time of around 16 hours and 20 minutes. The return leg of the journey has a scheduled flight time of 17 hours and 30 minutes.

The Boeing 777 landed in Auckland at around 7.25am local time, slightly ahead of schedule. The arrival was scheduled to coincide with the Waitangi Day public holiday in New Zealand.

As is tradition, the inaugural flight was greeted at its destination with a water cannon salute.

Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand Ambassador to the State of Qatar, described the direct flight as "a significant event in the New Zealand Qatar relationship".

Qatar Airways has suggested the flight time is enough to watch the entirety of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.

The airline has also said an estimated 1,100 cups of coffee and 2,000 cold drinks would be served on each flight.

The plane can accommodate 259 passengers.

BBC notes there is a distinction to be drawn between the longest flight and the furthest distance travelled.

In October of last year, Air India broke the record for furthest difference travelled when its Delhi to San Francisco service flew over the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic.

Despite that journey being around 1,400 km longer than the standard route, tailwinds meant the journey actually took two hours less than usual.