Emirates’ first non-stop service between Auckland and Dubai will be one of the longest air routes in the world by distance.

The airline started its first non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland on Tuesday.

The new non-stop service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR and should typically take just under 16 hours from Dubai to New Zealand and 17 hours, 15 minutes in the other direction.

Emirates will use flexible routes, which can vary by day, taking advantage of tail winds and avoiding head winds to reduce the time in the air.  

The 777-200LR has the same wing size as its 777-300ER cousin but can fly up to a range of 8,400 nautical miles with full passenger load of 266 – eight in first class, 42 in business, and 216 in economy.

The non-stop flight will have 13 cabin crew and four pilots, allowing for rest periods.

Geoff Hounsell, Emirates’ flight operations support services and air traffic management vice president, said: “Preparing for a new 14,000km (7,600 nautical miles) flight takes an enormous amount of planning.

“With the work being done across all our divisions and with our partners, we look forward to delivering technical best practices within flight and route operations, and ultimately, a great passenger experience for our direct flight launch to Auckland.”

A Qantas Dallas-Sydney flight which covers 13,800km was the longest flight by duration, taking about 16 hours and 55 minutes.

But Emirates plans to launch a Dubai-Panama City service later this month that will take 17 hours and 35 minutes.

Singapore Airlines used to fly non-stop between Singapore and Newark, which took 19 hours. The airline announced last year it was planning to bring back the service in 2018.