• The non-stop flight to Dubai will take 17 hours, 15 minutes.
• Passengers already booked on services to Dubai through Australia can swap to non-stop free of charge.
• The Boeing 777-200LR will have eight First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats and 216 Economy Class seats.

Emirates today announced that it will start its first non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland on March 1.

Emirates will now have five services into New Zealand daily, three A380 services to Auckland via Australia, a daily Christchurch service with a Boeing 777-ER and the new non-stop flight operated with a Boeing 777-200LR.

The new service will mean travelling to Europe with just one stop.

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The flight time to Dubai is estimated at 17 hours, 15 minutes and under 16 hours in the opposite direction.

"Having just one stop on the long haul to New Zealand will make the journey quicker and more comfortable. This will be a boon to many business people, tourists, expatriate New Zealanders and other travellers in Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

Maktoum said the new route provided more options for tourists.

"New Zealand currently hosts about three million tourists a year and we want to do our part to cater for that flow and grow that figure above current expectations.

"Operating a non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland has been in our sights for some time, dependent on availability of suitable aircraft as we rapidly expand our global network of destinations, and frequency of flights and capacity on existing routes. We are particularly delighted that we can now bring this exciting plan to fruition."

With the introduction of the non-stop service, Emirates will then be flying more than 2,000 seats a day in each direction on New Zealand services.

Emirates announcement comes after Bloomberg Business reported Qatar Airways was going to operate "ultra-long haul flights" between Doha and Auckland, making it the longest flight in the world.

Qatar Airways was tipped to offer a Doha - Auckland non-stop service. Photo / Getty
Qatar Airways was tipped to offer a Doha - Auckland non-stop service. Photo / Getty

The state-owned airline has eyed the New Zealand market before and Bloomberg Business reported its chief executive Akbar Al Baker as saying ultra-long haul flights to Auckland were part of new expansion plans.

READ MORE:
Could you sit in economy for 18 hours? - Doha to Auckland to be world's longest flight
Qatar Airways coming to NZ - report

Emirates said the right sort of aircraft for the ultra-longhaul flight from Dubai was now available following fleet growth.

The Boeing 777-200LR aircraft that will operate the new route are purpose-built for ultra-longhaul flights, carrying up to 266 passengers. Like Emirates' other New Zealand flights, the aircraft will offer three cabin classes: eight First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats and 216 Economy Class seats.

Operating eastbound as flight EK 448, the service will depart Dubai at 10:05am and arrive in Auckland the following day at 11:00am (local summer time).

Operating westbound as flight EK 449, the non-stop service will depart Auckland each night at 9:30pm, arriving in Dubai the following morning at 5:45 am (local time), connecting with Emirates' flights to 38 Europe destinations, as well as other destinations in India, Africa and the Middle East.

Travellers currently booked on existing services to Dubai and beyond will be able to switch to the new service without additional fees (subject to seat availability).