Emirates to run non-stop flight from Dubai to Panama City

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Emirates has launched the world's longest non-stop flight, with its new service between its home base of Dubai to Panama City expected to take 17 hours and 35 minutes.

The flight, which will kick off in February 2016, will be on a Boeing 777 200LR – the world's longest-range jetliner - in a three-class layout; eight seats in first class, 42 in business, and 216 in economy.

"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.

"We're also pleased to be the only commercial airline to offer a daily, first class service to travelers on what will be the world's longest non-stop flight," he said.

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Tickets for Emirate's flight EK251, which will depart Dubai at 8:05am local time and arrive in Panama City at 4:40pm local time daily, are already on sale via the airline's website. The return flight EK252 will leave Panama City at 10:10pm, arriving in Dubai at 10:55pm the next day.

Currently, the longest flights available connect Dallas to Sydney (almost 17 hours), Johannesburg to Atlanta (16 hours 40 minutes), and Dubai to Los Angeles (16 hours 35 minutes), according to the AFP.

Singapore Airlines had previously operated the world's longest flight - an all-business class flight from Singapore to New York that shuttled passengers between Changi and Newark within approximately 19 hours - but it terminated this service in late-2013 amid high fuel prices and subdued demand for premium travel.

Those flights could soon come back, however. According to a Bloomberg report, the airline is in talks with Airbus and on Boeing on developing a plane with new technology that would allow it to fly non-stop to the U.S. profitably.