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EKEmirates is set to launch the world’s longest non-stop flight, from Dubai to Panama City, in February.

The flight from the Gulf emirate to the capital of Panama will last 17 hours and 35 minutes, the airline said Thursday.

Currently Australian carrier Qantas holds the record for the longest flight, one that links Sydney with Dallas in just under 17 hours.

The daily flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR in a 3-class layout — eight in First, 42 in Business, and 216 in Economy, the company said.

“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 Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum.

“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.”

panamaFlight EK251 will depart Dubai at 08:05 and arrive in Panama City at 16:40 daily. The return flight, EK252, will leave Panama City at 22:10, arriving in Dubai at 22:55 the next day.

“It is gratifying to see how diplomatic efforts focused on generating development and prosperity for Panama materialize,” said Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, vice-president of Panama.

“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.”

Emirates has 235 aircraft in its all wide-body fleet. The airline flies to 147 destinations in 81 countries.

Images are courtesy of Emirates and Tocumen International Airport.