Emirates 18-hour non-stop – too long to fly

Back to Forum

This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  KSHaggag 20 Aug 2015
at 22:30

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

  • Anonymous


    I had a marketing email from Emirates this week saying they were launching a new service. Dubai to Panama City which will be a seventeen and a half hour flight so taking into account boarding and disembarking that’s probably eighteen hours in the aircraft.

    Even taking into account the quite comfortable Business seat that Emirates has that is a long, long time flying and God only knows what it will be like in the back !


    Good point, Charles, seeing as EK has always configured its B777 seating 10-across.

    When Thai and SIA flew from SE Asia to the USA non-stop (everyone seems to have forgotten that Thai/SIA operated non-stop flights which were longer than EK’s planned service) they provided far more comfortable economy seating on their A340-500s. (Note that latterly SIA converted its non-stop flights to an all business class layout).



    Just wondering at what point the cost benefit begins to fail for Emirates pax. The 10 across on the 777 is very uncomfortable, not to mention their really poor seat pitch. They have gotten away with it so far by feeding economy pax with decent meals and keeping them entertained with their good ICE product, but really, 18 hours in MHO is really pushing the limit of what people will find tolerable in cramped conditions!


    Much as I like Emirates that is a step too far for me.


    Maybe EK bought the water canon from Boris (seeing as it’s no longer of any use in London) to keep the rioting economy pax in line…

    18 hours, even in business class, would be a stretch too far for me. With 1 stop in the US or Europe the journey time is 20-22 hours so it’s not much of a time saver really.

    Leaving Dubai at 0805 in the morning and arriving into Panama City at 1640, I wonder if they’ll offer three full breakfast, lunch and dinner services?


    I remember flights to the Far East in the early 80’s were about 19 hours with four stops, but you usually could not get off to stretch your legs so confined to seat. It wasn’t to bad and between sleep and meals the time passed quite quickly. 18 seems a long time but with today’s entertainment it should pass quite quickly.

    Personally I’d prefer that to having to change planes somewhere in the US!


    But Y seat pitch was far higher in the 80s : 36 to 38 inches if memory serves me well. Something PE pax can only dream of today!


    Spending 18 hours or more confined in a squeezed space is no fun by all standards ,even in Paradise !
    Economy will surely be awfully uncomfortable and EK does not have the willingness to dedicate such an aircraft to Business Class only .SIA had graciously operated such a long route ( SIN-EWR ) with Business only seating which could make it bearable but bearing 18 hours with 33 inches of legroom is like being burried alive in a tomb where you are allowed to eat and watch movies !
    For me personally it is certainly a NO-GO in Economy .EK s biz class seating is also cramped .Claustrophobic people ,please keep out !


    But originally, KSH, SIA operated its non-stop US flights in a two-class business and premium economy layout.

    There was no first class and there was no normal economy class.

    Also we all forget that TG also operated these non-stop A340-500 flights to LAX and EWR.

    TG configured its flights with business, premium economy and economy. And I believe economy class had around 36 ins of pitch.

    TG axed its flights some years before SIA. But SIA didn’t give up straightaway and that is when it reconfigured the A340-500s in all business class layout.

    Seat map of TG’s A340-500. These planes have been retired from service and TG was trying to find a buyer without success.


    Here’s rare picture of SIA’s A34-500 in its original configuration. The photo is of the 2-3-2 premium economy cabin.



    With Premium Eco I am sure it was uncomfortable ,so let alone Economy with a poor seat pitch ,which is what EK is very good at !

    The SIA business class cabin is much more spacious than EK s ,especially the product that SIA had on their former A340-500s .In all cases ,SIA would do such an operation much more comfortably than EK .
    I don t see real benefits for passengers out of such a long haul flight service .Extra security in Europe ? no big deal especially that you will have the chance to breathe and catch some fresh air to do good to your blood circulation .Staying clogged during 18 hours is indeed like sitting in a tomb !..I would not even do this in the comfort of the Residence by Etihad !!!!!!!!
    Healthwise ,such a long flight is a killer ..The only party benefitting could be EK itself .

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below