Dubai: Emirates, the world's biggest international airline, will go ahead with plans to launch its Panama route on March 31 despite Zika virus emergency in South America, it was announced on Wednesday.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed, Al Maktoum, Chief Executive and Chairman of Emirates airline and Group, said in comments to the press that the carrier will stick to the planned launch date of the world's longest commercial flight from Dubai to Panama.

He also said the expansion of Al Maktoum International will start this year.