The ultra-long-haul destinations within direct flying distance of New Zealand

Qatar Airways uses a Boeing 777-200 LR to fly between Doha and Auckland - the world's longest commercial flight.
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Qatar Airways uses a Boeing 777-200 LR to fly between Doha and Auckland - the world's longest commercial flight.

We appear to be entering a new era of ultra-long-haul travel. 

With non-stop flights from Perth to London on the horizon and Air New Zealand hinting at direct services to New York, "express" flights to far-flung destinations are no longer a far-fetched idea. 

Two of the world's longest flights, direct to Doha and Dubai, already serve from Auckland and a new generation of fuel-efficient aircraft are making trips that usually require one or two stops, and a tedious wait in transit, doable in a single stretch. 

Theoretically, the Boeing 777-200LR could get you from Auckland to Istanbul in just over 20 hours.
MURAD SEZER

Theoretically, the Boeing 777-200LR could get you from Auckland to Istanbul in just over 20 hours.

Boeing and Airbus manufacture some of the longest range airliners, which include the Boeing 777-200LR and Airbus A340-500. 

READ MORE:
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World's longest flight touches down at Auckland airport 

Capable of flying 17,395km nonstop, the Boeing 777-200LR could theoretically bring much of the world within less than a 24-hour flight from New Zealand. 

Qantas will service its non-stop Perth to London flights with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
QANTAS

Qantas will service its non-stop Perth to London flights with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The aircraft already services the world's longest flight - Qatar's Auckland to Doha service, covering just over 14,500 kilometres in about 18 hours. 

While the 777 couldn't quite go the distance to Western Europe without stopping, it could get to parts of Eastern and Southern Europe in less than 22 hours. 

A flight to Istanbul with Air New Zealand and Turkish Airlines currently takes about 28 hours and 45 minutes, with a nearly three-and-a-half-hour stopover in Los Angeles. 

Theoretically, the 777 could cover the 17,066km in around 20 hours and 34 minutes, although the number of passengers onboard and wind resistance need to be factored in. 

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Reykjavik, Iceland (16,720km from Auckland), Bucharest, Romania (17,264km) and Cyprus (16,540km) are also within striking distance. Whether you can handle the flight times of around 20 to 21 hours though is another thing entirely. 

Such aircraft could make direct trips to almost any part of the US or Canada a reality. Montreal (14,387km away), Atlanta (13,040km) and Orlando (13,040km) could all be less than a day away. 

They could also transform a nearly 40-hour ordeal to the Caribbean into a comparatively quick 16-hour hop. 

A flight to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, with Air NZ, United Airlines and Silver Airways can take nearly 38 and a half hours, including an overnight layover in Houston and a short stop in Tampa. 

But with the 777 or A340, you could be sunning yourself on a Bahamian beach before the day's out. 

Theoretically, you could also be on safari in South Africa (12,219km away) or Kenya (13,722km), checking out the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands (10,419km) or exploring virtually any part of South America or Asia. 

Even if a route is physically possible though, an airline will only introduce it if it will generate enough bums on seats to make economic sense. 

But with the likes of Qantas challenging Boeing and Airbus to deliver an aircraft that will enable it to introduce a direct service from Sydney to London, which would take almost 20 hours, ultra-long-haul travel looks set to become the new nom. 

If you could fly anywhere in the world nonstop, where would you go? Let us know in the comments.

 - Stuff

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