Emirates has announced its plans to launch services to Panama City, beginning February 1, 2016.
The airline states its new service will be the longest non-stop flight in the world (17 hours 35 minutes, heading westbound) and will be Emirates’ first gateway destination in Central America.
Service to Panama City, Panama’s capital and largest city by population, will commence with a daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in a three-class layout - eigh in First, 42 in Business, and 216 in Economy.
The aircraft can also carry up to 15 tonnes of cargo.
Key imports to the country include pharmaceuticals, machinery products, iron/steel rods, and electronics.
Service to Panama City will operate through Tocumen International Airport (PTY).
In a statement, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group 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.
“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.”
“It is gratifying to see how diplomatic efforts focused on generating development and prosperity for Panama materialise,” said Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice President of the Republic of Panama.
She added: “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.”
“This new direct flight between Dubai and Panama City will connect Latin America with the Middle East, Asia and Africa,” explained Eduardo Fonseca Ward, Consul General of the Republic of Panama, in Dubai.
He continued: “This link will generate a broader global network with countless commercial and cultural opportunities for the two regions.”
Located between North and South America, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Panama City has developed a competitive transportation and communication network, operating two of the busiest ports in Latin America, including the Colon Free Trade Zone - the world’s second largest free trade zone.
Additionally, the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal has helped contribute to Panama’s economic growth in recent years.
Emirates flight 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.
Tickets for travel to Panama City are now available to purchase via the airline’s website.
Later this year, Emirates will be adding four additional routes to its global network including Mashhad, Iran and Orlando in September; Bamako, Mali in October; Bologna in November.