SIA to Launch World's Longest Nonstop Flight by Year End

SIA to Launch World's Longest Nonstop Flight by Year EndSIA to Launch World's Longest Nonstop Flight by Year End

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is expected to pick up its new ultra-long-range aircraft in the third quarter of the year, with nonstop flights to New York due to be launched before the end of the year.

The 19-hour flight will see SIA reclaim the title of running the world's longest nonstop flight—a record it held with its Singapore-Newark flight from 2004 to 2013.

The airline is also expected to start nonstop services to Los Angeles—a flight that takes more than 15 hours—next year, the Straits Times reported.

Both routes will be served by SIA's new Airbus 350-900ULR aircraft and are expected to come in a two-class configuration with business and premium economy seats.

The A350-900ULR aircraft did its first test flight on Monday, April 23, an almost five-hour round trip that took off from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is built to fly up to 18,000 km, an increase of more than 1,800 miles over the standard A-350.

  Significant Milestone

For SIA, which has ordered seven of the planes, the launch of the Singapore-New York service will mark a significant milestone in the resumption of its nonstop flights to the United States, which the airline axed in 2013 after about a decade of operations.

The flights to Newark and Los Angeles started in 2004, but the 2008 global financial crisis, coupled with rising fuel prices, made the routes unsustainable.

At the time, SIA operated the routes with the four-engine Airbus 345. In October 2016, the airline started flying nonstop between Singapore and San Francisco—a service that can be operated with the A350-900 aircraft and does not require the ultra-long-range variant. Currently, Qatar Airways, which operates an almost 18-hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to its home in Doha, operates the world's longest nonstop flight.

Coming in at a close second is Australia's Qantas, which recently launched a Perth-London service that gets passengers to Britain in just over 17 hours.

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