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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

New world's longest flight: Singapore Airlines to fly direct to New York

At 16,700 kilometres, passengers will have plenty of time to sit back and relax

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 plane takes off at Changi Airport in Singapore. Edgar Su / Reuters
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 plane takes off at Changi Airport in Singapore. Edgar Su / Reuters

If you want to escape from the world for, say, almost 19 hours, Singapore Airlines has just the place for you.

The airline has announced it will launch the world's longest commercial flight on October 11, with a non-stop service between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR.

At 16,700 kilometres, the flight to Newark Liberty International Airport will eclipse the Qatar Airways route from Doha to Auckland, which clocks in at 14,529km and a flight time of 17 hours and 40 minutes.

For passengers, that means a lot of films, plenty of time to read some books and probably some stiff limbs by the time they touch down.

Alvaro Sanmarti / The National
Alvaro Sanmarti / The National

The aircraft is, however, the most advanced available for long-haul flights, featuring higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag.

Its carbon composite airframe also allows for improved air quality due to a more optimised cabin altitude and humidity levels, according to Singapore Airlines. The New York flight will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy class seats.

The carrier used the marathon route until 2013 when high fuel prices made it uneconomic. But a switch from the Airbus SE A340-500 to the new Airbus A350-900ULR has put the route back on the map.

Super long-haul flights are becoming more frequent with aircraft efficiency keeping costs down, and the airlines able to charge a premium over flights which include a stop-off.

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Read more:

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In March, Qantas started the first direct flight between Australia and Britain, which cut the travelling time by roughly three hours with the absence of a stop over in Singapore or the Middle East.

Qantas has said it is considering buying the Airbus A350-900ULR so it can fly non-stop from Sydney to London from 2022 - a route which would trump Singapore-New York for length and would be welcomed by business travellers.

Singapore Airlines currently serves New York JFK daily via Frankfurt. It also plans to introduce non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles with the A350-900ULR at a later date.

It expects to receive its first A350-900ULR in September, with all seven on order due by the end of the year.

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