Singapore Airlines will claim the crown of the world’s longest service by miles flown on Thursday when it re-starts its direct service between Singapore and New York.
The Airbus A350-900ULR will travel from Changi Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport, covering 9,000 nautical miles (9,537 miles) in a scheduled 18 hours and 25 minutes. The flight takes off at 11.35 p.m. Singapore time (11.35 a.m. New York).
Singapore Airlines has previously operated the same route but abandoned it in 2013 due to high oil prices and the constraints of less economic four-engine aircraft.
The cabin on the new service has no economy class, instead being divided into 67 business-class seats and 94 premium economy. Around 5 hours prior to take off, business class tickets were no longer available but premium economy seats could be purchased on the airline’s website for $2,155.
The Airbus A350-900ULR performing the route is the first of the seven on order by Singapore Airlines. Two will be used to travel to and from New Jersey while the remaining five will be used for a Singapore-Los Angeles services commencing on November 2, 2018.
Using the new ULR (ultra-long range) flights, Singapore has said that total U.S. flight frequency will increase from 40 to 53 per week by December.
In terms of miles flown, the flight will overtake the 17 hours and 40-minute flight you can currently take from New Zealand to the capital of Qatar. A Boeing 777-200LR performs that haul, which was first completed in February 2017.
Airlines have challenged the likes of Boeing and Airbus to create planes capable of ever longer direct routes. In March this year, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Qantas left Perth, Australia and flew non-stop to London Heathrow.
Qantas has also promised 20-hour direct flights from London to Sydney by 2022 and has said that either the Airbus A350 or Boeing’s 777X will be used.