Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Have 19 hours? World's longest commercial flight takes off

Longest long-haul flight to New York draws curious flyers World’s longest flight takes 19 hours and has no economy class: Here's more
Ginger Lawrence | 13 October, 2018, 10:33

Singapore Airlines (SIA) which took the delivery of the world's first Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft from Airbus in September, will reconnect Singapore and NY by operating the world's longest commercial flight.

The move to ditch economy will further cement Singapore Airlines as a premium service provider, as they continue to move away from their budget-friendly past image.

The Singapore-Newark route will top Qatar Airways' Doha-Auckland route as the world's longest, but Australia's Qantas Airways is considering the introduction of an even longer 20-hour Sydney-London flight from 2022. "A business class ticket will entitle passengers to two meals, and the choice of when they are served, plus refreshments in between".

Until then, Qantas comes in in a close second after it connected Perth and London in a non-stop flight for the first time using a Boeing 787-9.

The four Singapore Airlines pilots (two captains and two first officers) on each ultralong-range A350-900 aren't allowed to fly to NY unless they haven't flown for 48 hours prior to take-off. Check out how we built the world's longest range airliner! When they land in NY, pilots have three nights off before flying back to Singapore.

But that mantle will pass to Singapore Airlines when it this week launches its A350-900ULR flight of 15,341km (9532m) between Singapore and NY.

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The Singapore carrier has seven more A350-900ULRs on firm order with Airbus.

She said capacity would need to be managed carefully given high fuel prices, but there should be sufficient demand as long as the United States and global economies remained robust. The A340-500 it was using at the time used a lot of fuel and eventually the route became too expensive to run.

Airbus said the A350-900URL plane's cabin has higher-than-normal ceilings, larger windows and lighting created to reduce jet lag - all part of an effort to lessen the stresses that can accompany nearly a day on a plane.

Lightweight composites including carbon fiber make up the bulk of the A350-900ULR, while new wing tips help reduce drag, Airbus says. At the back are 94 premium economy seats, with an eight-inch recline and a seat pitch of 38 inches.

Campbell Wilson, its senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the Airbus A350-900ULR, which was delivered two weeks ago, consumes 25 percent less fuel than an older generation aircraft of the same size. So from an airline perspective, these routes are money-making.