SQ’s World Longest Flight returns: Singapore to New York

Singapore Airlines is almost all set to reclaim their slot as the operator for the world’s longest flight, with some assistance from Airbus.

For those who remember, SQ used to operate non-stop flights between Singapore and Newark between 2004 to 2013, which was the world’s longest flight, on an A340-500 aircraft in an all premium configuration. As the A340 is a gas guzzler, and over the years oil prices hit 100$ an upwards, SQ decided to withdraw the flight due to the lack of a better option.

However, that will change this year. Airbus is currently developing the new A350-900 Ultra Long-Range jet, which has already undergone its first test flight in Toulouse late last week. SQ is going to be the first airline to receive the plane, with 7 of them on order.A350-900 ULR Singapore Airlines take-off World Longest Flight

With this plane, they intend to re-launch the Singapore – New York flights within 2018, which at 9,521 miles will take 19 hours to fly, making it the longest flight in the world by a long shot. The new A350-900 ULR can fly up to 11,160 miles, which is about 1,800 more than a standard A350. Subsequently, the airline also plans to fly nonstop to Los Angeles, a 15-hour flight, beginning in 2019.

Moreover, Singapore Airlines does not plan to put an economy class on this plane again, just like they did not have on the A340s. Singapore Airlines plans to operate the flight with a two-class configuration: business and premium economy. Singapore Airlines’s A350-900ULRs will feature just 162 seats, including 68 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats.

The Singapore flight will be about one hour longer than the current longest flight, Qatar Airways from Auckland to Doha, which flies 9,032-miles over 18 hours. A close second is the recently launched  Qantas flight from Perth to London, launched in March 2018, that takes a bit more than 17 hours.

I flew the earlier routes back in the day, and I am sure as hell signing up for the new flights. The A340s left me drained at the end of the journey, so I am hoping that the A350s will not, given their superior passenger experience and cabin pressure they have developed over the years.

Anyone else fancy 19 hours in a metal tube?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. While the 350 might have its cabin pressure set at a lower altitude, what would really interest me is whether SQ has picked up the humidififcation option on its aircraft. From what I understand, Boeing offers higher humidity levels as standard, whereas Airbus leaves it as a customer option.

  2. There is a lot of talk about the old A345 aircraft being in an all J configuration, but before SQ went with all J, they had what I figure to be the first International Premium Economy cabin on these planes. They called it Executive Economy. I traveled this AMD-SIN-EWR about 6 times during those times. The return flight had a stop in SIN for 13 hours, and SQ even attached Silver Kris Lounge access with these EE tickets. I was 12 years old when I flew it last in 2006. Traveling with my mom to go see the grandparents in NYC every few months. Even in the EE cabin they had excellent hard product, wide seats with footrests, amazing food ( I distinctly remember the unlimited Ice Cream). Legroom was also pretty good, but hey I was less than 4 feet tall, so what would I know. Mom found the flights comfortable too.

    I remember the last flight we faced pretty strong headwinds, and were in the air for close to 21 hours. In my mind as a little boy, I thought all airlines have seats that are this comfortable. When I was 15 I had a chance to sit in MHs 3-4-3 777. Yeah, my bubble had finally burst. Nobody does economy as well as SQ.

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