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Emirates’ planned new ultra-long-haul route between Dubai and Panama City has already been postponed once. Now Emirates postpone Panama’s flight again, this time indefinitely.
Emirates postpone Panama’s flight and announced the route would not launch as scheduled on March 31. Instead the carrier said in a statement to ‘Today in the Sky’ that the service would begin “by the end of 2016 or early 2017, as soon as conditions allow.”
It’s the second significant delay for the Panama City-Dubai route. Emirates previously pushed the original Feb. 1 launch date to March 31, initially citing delays in securing codeshare tie-ups with Copa. Copa is Central America’s largest airline and operates a busy hub in Panama City.
But the latest delay – announced just four weeks before the new launch date – suggested other factors might also be at play.
“The decision was made after an extensive review of all operational factors, including fleet utilization and commercial demand from key markets against the global economic outlook,” Emirates said in its statement.
Despite that, Emirates stressed the delay would be only that – and not a cancellation of the route.
“We firmly believe in the potential of Central America, and remain keen to link the Emirates network to the region,” Emirates added in its statement. “We will retain staff in Panama City to continue developing our presence, as well as commercial opportunities with our industry partner… .”
Emirates Airlines decision to postpone the route comes just a day after it launched the world’s longest nonstop route, an 8,819-mile nonstop route between Dubai and Auckland, New Zealand.Emirates confirms it is working on a new date for the launch of its direct flight from Dubai to Panama,” the airline said. Emirates announced the flight in August of 2015. The flight would be the longest in the world at 17 hours and 35 minutes. Currently, the longest commercial flights are between Dallas and Sydney (16 hours and 55 minutes), Johannesburg and Atlanta (16 hours and 40 minutes) and Dubai and Los Angeles (16 hours and 35 minutes). Emirates says that it firmly believes “on the potential of Central America” and continues “enthusiastically” with the plan of “linking this important region to the Emirates network.” It said it will keep its staff in Panama “to continue developing our presence in this country.”