Emirates postpones Dubai-Panama service

U.A.E.-based Emirates has, for a second time, delayed commencement of service on its new route connecting Dubai and Panama City, Panama.

“We firmly believe in the potential of Central America, and remain keen to link the Emirates network to the region,” the airline said in a statement announcing the delay. “We will retain staff in Panama City to continue developing our presence, as well as commercial opportunities with our industry partners, and will launch by the end of 2016 or early 2017 as soon as conditions allow.”

The decision to delay the start of flights between Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama and Dubai International Airport (DXB) was made after an extensive review of all operational factors, including fleet utilization and commercial demand from key markets against the global economic outlook, the carrier continued.

When plans for the new route were announced in Aug. 2015, service was slated to begin Feb. 1, 2016 but was subsequently delayed until Mar. 31. Had flights started in March, it would have given the airline the distinction of setting two successive records for ultra-long-haul flights in the same month. On Mar. 1, Emirates began service from DXB to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL).Westbound flights from AKL to DXB are the longest in both duration, at 17 hours 15 minutes, and distance at 8,825 miles.

Emirates Boeing 777-200LR
The AKL-DXB flights are 20 minutes longer than the previous record-holder. Flights on Qantas’ Dallas-Ft.Worth (DFW) to Sydney (SYD), Australia route, which held the record until Mar. 1,  take 16 hours 55 minutes to traverse the 8,578 mile route.

By definition, ultra-long-haul flights are non-stop flights that require more than 12 hours to complete. Such flights are typically made by wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-200LR, the Airbus A380-800 or the Airbus A340-500.

Emirates uses a Boeing 777-200LR on the route. That aircraft, which has a range of 10,900 miles when fully loaded, is configured in a three-class layout with eight open first-class suites, 42 business-class seats and 216 economy seats.

According to SeatGuru.com, the first-class suites include seats that are 23 inches wide and convert to 78-inch long lie-flat beds. Business-class seats are 20.5 inches wide with 60 inches of pitch while economy seats are 17 inches wide with 33 to 34 inches of pitch.

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