World's new longest flight takes off from Doha, Qatar

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Qatar Airways noted the flight was longer than the entire "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies which were filmed in New Zealand.

It flies from its base in Doha in the Middle East all the way to Auckland, New Zealand, a distance that makes it the longest scheduled flight ever in terms of time spent in the air.

The Boeing 777-200LR is described as being "one of the world's most technologically advanced aircraft" and is built for such long-haul flights with a maximum range of 10,840 miles.

The current record-holder is Emirates' Auckland to Dubai service, which takes around 17 hours and 15 minutes, and just pips Qantas' 17-hour, 14,498km route from Perth to London - which is set to take off in March 2018 - at the post.

"We've officially landed in Auckland", the airline tweeted as flight QR920 landed at 7.25am (1825 GMT Sunday), five minutes ahead of schedule after a 16 hour 23 minute flight.

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In keeping with worldwide tradition to welcome inaugural flights, the Auckland airport rescue service showered the plane with water cannons on arrival.

Qatar Airways, which inaugurated its first flight between Doha and Auckland, New Zealand today, has broken a flying time record.

Qatar Airways does not specify the number of crew, but this kind of flights require four pilots and 15 flight attendants.

The route covers 14,535km and the flight takes as long as 17 hours 45 minutes when flying into prevailing jet streams to Doha. It has said the NY service, at around 19 hours, will start in 2018.