World's longest non-stop commercial service takes flight


Two pilots, a special "wellness" menu and more than seven weeks' worth of film and television entertainment were expected to accompany travellers on the 16,700-kilometre journey of the world's longest flight from Singapore to NY.

With enthusiasm and a bit of anxiety, 150 people today boarded to an Airbus, which took off from Singapore for a 19-hour marathon flight to NY. The brand new A350-900ULR which will operate the flight has been configured in a two-class layout with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats.

Airbus developed the latest model for extra-long flights.

The airline has said that the four pilots - two captains and two first officers - need to have at least 8 hours of rest. 'I'm not sure what I'm going to do for 18 1/2 hours.

The airline's senior vice-president for sales and marketing, Mr Campbell Wilson, who was also on the inaugural flight, said: "Tonight's event is one that we have been eagerly anticipating since then (2013, when the flight was axed)".

The route, combined with the airline's plans to restart non-stop services to Los Angeles and add more non-stop flights to San Francisco next month, will give the premium Asian carrier its biggest-ever US presence.

The world's longest direct commercial flight is back and taking travelers from Singapore to the NY region.

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To improve flight experience and reduce the stress that passengers will suffer for nearly a whole day in the air, the company has raised the ceiling of the cabin and has raised the windows. Perth-London comes in at 14,500km (9010m) with a flight time of 17 hours and 20 minutes.

"My cousin said 'hey, this is in the press.' I'm going to take pictures and show her", she said. "The A350-1000's fuselage is seven meters longer than its smaller brethren, providing greater capacity (44 more seats in Qatar Airways cabin configuration) that perfectly matches airlines' needs on their growing long-haul routes".

Singaporean airlines is hoping that the introduction of more fuel-efficient planes will become a permanent thing as fuel prices continue to soar.

The long-range Airbus A350-900ULR was installed to carry up to 161 passengers. Six more are due for delivery by the end of the year.

The airline is banking on the use of technology to control its fuel bill, as oil hovers around $80 per barrel.

Facing increasingly strong competition in recent years, Singapore Airlines has consolidated its low-fare subsidiaries and is strengthening its premium segment.

"We are optimistic about the demand for non-stop services to the United States", the spokesman said.