Singapore Airlines Receives Jet to Fly World’s Longest Route
Singapore Airlines took delivery on Sunday of the Airbus A350-900 ultra long range aircraft to start a non-stop service to New York, a journey of about 19 hours that will become the world's longest.
Bloomberg reports the first commercial flight between Singapore and Newark Liberty International Airport will be on October 11, Singapore Air said in a statement yesterday. This is the first of the seven A350-900ULRs the carrier has on firm order with Airbus.
Reviving the route that the Singapore flag carrier scrapped more than four years ago will help the airline fill a gap in its US network that has benefited rivals including Qantas Airways and Cathay Pacific Airways.
Singapore Air's new service -- which will overtake Qatar Airways' Doha-Auckland route as the world's longest -- will initially offer three flights in the first week, increasing to daily from October 18.
Singapore Airlines will use the aircraft for non-stop services to Los Angeles in November.
According to Traveller, the plane flying the Singapore to New York route will only offer premium seating, with 67 business class and 94 premium economy class seats. This is a similar set-up to when Singapore previously flew this same route, using a four-engine Airbus A340 which featured only business class seats.
Here are some of the features of Singapore Air's A350-900ULR:
- The plane is capable of flying about 20 hours non-stop. The flight to New York will cover a distance of approximately 16,700 kilometres, with travelling time of up to 18 hours and 45 minutes
- The aircraft is configured in a two-class layout with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats
- The ULR is a variant of the A350, with the main change over the standard aircraft being a modified fuel system. This will help the plane carry 165,000 liters of fuel, an increase of 24,000 litres: Airbus
- The plane also features a number of aerodynamic enhancements, including extended winglets: Airbus
The seven A350-900ULRs ordered by Singapore Airlines are currently the only ones ordered from Airbus by any airline.
However, Qantas has been looking at the new long-rage aircraft as the possible solution to its "Project Sunrise" challenge - an aim to introduce non-stop flights between Australia's east coast capitals and London, along with New York, by 2022.