Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful places on earth are the hardest to reach. Getting to many of the most inspired destinations requires multiple hops on multiple flights, with extended layovers and hassle. Eliminate some of the hassle and you create a brilliant route. Emirates has officially launched and flown the longest flight in the world, with direct service to New Zealand.

Dubai to Auckland marks the longest flight in the world, with 17 hours 15 minutes of flying time, besting the current longest operating flight from Sydney to Dallas by 246 miles. The flight is operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, with first, business and economy. If you don’t think earning miles matters, try sitting in economy for seventeen plus straight hours…

Southeast Asia marks yet another hard to reach destination with long layovers and very few direct flights. Not to be outdone by Emirates, Singapore Airlines has firmed plans to launch New York to Singapore and Los Angeles to Singapore direct flights, as early as 2018, with their new ultra long range A350, according to airline spokesman James Bradbury-Boyd. The flight will operate with business class, premium economy and economy. For what it’s worth, Singapore’s business class is equal or better to many first class cabins. 

These are exciting times for travelers around the world, as airlines aim to add ease and efficiency to some of the farthest reaches. New routes mean not only more direct flights to more fantastic places, but more opportunities to use miles. With the increased competition, you can also expect better seats in every cabin. I’m perfectly fine with that…